BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) – A Lancaster man already facing federal prison time was back in court Monday involving a sextortion case.
Joseph Lombardo, 26, was sentenced by Erie County Judge Kenneth Case to four years in prison on a state charge of third degree rape.
The sentence will run concurrently with Lombardo’s 15 year sentence on federal child pornography charges.
A prosecutor with the Erie County District Attorney’s Office told the court that Lombardo used manipulation, assumed identities and posed as friend who wanted to help.
He’s accused of having sex with a 15 year old girl a few years ago while posing as someone who could help her stop sexually explicit photographs from being released.
That girl is Joelle Huber, now 18 years old and speaking publicly about the incidents which have haunted her for years.
“After so many years like you’d think it would go away, but you think about it all the time,” said Huber after leaving the courtroom.
Huber says she still has “nightmares” and “flashbacks” from the ordeal.
During a News 4 report last week on the growing problem of sextortion, Huber detailed how she got caught up in sending Lombardo sexually explicit photos of herself.
“I was doing it to have fun basically,” Huber told News 4 during a wide ranging interview that aired last week.
“He kept going, and that’s when I knew this wasn’t just for fun,” she added.
She hopes that by going public and sharing her story — she’ll be able to encourage others to speak up and get help.
“I’m at that point where I just want to help other people who are in my same situation that don’t want to tell people and they don’t want people to know who they are,” she said.
In Huber’s case, Lombardo used a different name online and requested that she send sexually explicit pictures using a social media messaging app.
She was underage at the time.
She says Lombardo started demanding more pictures or else he would post them online.
“I just kept sending him more. I didn’t want it to go public and I didn’t want my parents to see it, my friends to see it,” she explained.
Authorities say Lombardo later posed online as another person offering to help Huber with her situation.
They eventually met in person and had sexual contact when Huber was 15 years old.
Huber says she didn’t believe the police when they told the same guy was posing as both people.
“He pretended to be two people and he was playing like good cop, bad cop between those two people,” she told News 4.
Lombardo was previously convicted of federal child pornography charges and sentenced to 15 years in prison in connection with the case involving Huber and two other victims.
The four year sentence Lombardo received Monday for third degree rape will run concurrently with his federal prison sentence.
Meanwhile, Huber says the problem of sextortion needs to be talked about, and that’s why she’s speaking publicly about the case.
“Since I am a victim it’s easier for me to talk to other people that have been through it,” she explained. “I feel like if someone were to come to me and talk to me about it, I’d be able to help them.”
“I can say that I understand what they’re going through,” she added.