A youth development worker in the Twin Cities has been charged with child pornography offenses after allegedly admitting to pressuring teenage boys into sending him nude photos that he later sent to other victims.
Prosecutors charged Marcus Alexander Hinkle in a federal criminal complaint this week with producing and distributing child pornography after the FBI received reports from Michigan law enforcement officials over the summer.
According to the complaint, police in Warren, Mich., identified two 13-year-old boys as having been pressured into sending naked photos and videos to Hinkle via three Instagram accounts he controlled. An FBI agent in Minneapolis wrote in a sworn affidavit that Hinkle admitted in a recorded interview with agents this month that he “sexually exploited” the teenage boys “by pressuring them into sending him pictures and videos of their exposed penises.”
The FBI agent wrote that Hinkle worked with minors for a community organization. A LinkedIn profile for Hinkle lists him as a staff member for the YMCA of the Greater Twin Cities starting in September 2016. A YMCA spokeswoman said Friday that Hinkle did work for the Y at one time but no longer does. She said the organization conducted a pre-employment background check that found no red flags and that the Y had no complaints during Hinkle’s tenure.
Agents searching Hinkle’s home earlier this month found evidence of child pornography, including new victims, according to court documents.
According to the complaint: Hinkle expressed concerns that he might hurt himself after his first interview with the FBI. The next day, Hinkle called an FBI agent from a hospital and said he wanted to help identify other victims. Hinkle faxed a summary that outlined his behavior and identified more minor victims. Hinkle again called the FBI agent on Monday and “denied that he had ever touched a child sexually.”
“He inquired whether he could go back to his job working with children,” the agent wrote.