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A former substitute teacher from Carver County was sentenced to 40 years in prison last week for a years-long sextortion scheme targeting dozens of victims. 

Mitchell James Ottinger, a former substitute teacher and paraprofessional from Carver, pleaded guilty last year to two counts of production and attempted production of child pornography and one count of interstate communication with intent to extort. 

Last week, U.S. District Judge Wilhelmina M. Wright sentenced Ottinger to 480 months in prison followed by 25 years of supervised release. 

According to court documents, Ottinger lured victims into sending him sexually explicit images and videos of themselves by using false online personas, pretending to be a young female using the aliases "Taylor Malek" and "Rachel Meyer" with a romantic interest in the victims

If a victim blocked or ignored him, he'd threaten to disseminate the images and videos in order to extort his victims into sending more images and videos. 

Ottinger's scheme involved 42 victims, including at least 23 minors, according to investigators. Some of the children targeted by Ottinger were students he knew at the school district where he worked. 

If you know of any child who may have been a victim of exploitation, please call the National Center for Missing or Exploited Children (NCMEC) at 1-800-THE-LOST (1-800-843-5678) or visit NCMEC’s web site at www.missingkids.com.

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