Iowa man pleads guilty to coercing Massachusetts mother into posing 10 year old daughter nude over the Internet

An Iowa man who was facing child pornography charges pleaded guilty right before the start of his federal trial Monday in Boston, according to US Attorney Carmen M. Ortiz’s office.

Joshua Dunfee, 32, of Oxford Junction, Iowa, posed online as a professional photographer named “John” from “Hunt Photography” in order to coerce an Attleboro mother into having her 10-year-old daughter pose nude on a webcam, according to Ortiz’s office and court documents.

In October, 2011, Dunfee told the woman, who has not been identified to protect daughter’s identity, that a client would pay $20,000 for a mother-daughter bikini modeling contract.

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Dunfee contacted the mother of the victim through Facebook’s instant messenger. He said there were many interested in the modeling job and that the mother “would need to audition her daughter for him immediately and persuaded the mother to take her minor daughter out of school,” said Ortiz’s office in a statement. He promised travel, room, and board would be covered for the job in Florida, said the federal affidavit.

The victim was pulled out of school and placed on a webcam, first in her underwear, and then naked, during a 48-minute video call, Ortiz’s office said. The victim stated she was in front of the camera for about 10 to 15 minutes, according to the affidavit.

After the video chat, the mother alerted authorities to what had happened and agreed to let police use her Facebook account for investigative purposes, court documents said.

On Nov. 3, 2011, Dunfee’s IP address was traced and federal agents searched his Oxford Junction residence under a federal search warrant, said Ortiz’s office. After checking Dunfee’s computers, authorities found evidence consistent with Hunt Photography communications.

The victim’s mother was sentenced to three months in prison after she pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor assault charge and reckless endangerment of a child, according to reports from the Sun Chronicle.

Dunfee faces a minimum of 15 years in prison after pleading guilty to federal child exploitation charges and has been in custody since his arrest in November, 2011. He is expected to be sentenced June 27, Ortiz’s office said.