DOJ: Woman who pretended to be her daughter to seduce boy, convince him to attempt suicide sentenced to 35 years in prison
DOJ: Woman who pretended to be her daughter to seduce boy, convince him to attempt suicide sentenced to 35 years in prison
Riverside Correctional Facility. Image credit: Google Maps.

The United States Department of Justice

PHILADELPHIA – First Assistant United States Attorney Jennifer Arbittier Williams announced that Linda Paolini, 45, of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, was sentenced to 35 years in prison, a lifetime  of supervised release, and ordered to pay more than $15,000 in fines by United States District Court Judge Nitza I. Quiñones Alejandro for child pornography and enticement offenses.

In October 2019, the defendant pleaded guilty to two counts of manufacturing child pornography and one count of online enticement of a minor. The defendant used social media to engage in sexually explicit communications with a 16-year-old Florida boy and coerce him to produce and send her videos of him masturbating. She did this by assuming the persona of a 16-year-old girl, sending the boy provocative images of her own daughter in order to manipulate him into thinking that an attractive, same-aged girl was in love with him. Ultimately, during an online video chat, Paolini faked a suicide attempt in order to induce the boy to attempt suicide himself in solidarity with her. Further, the defendant’s crimes were not limited to just this child; she also admitted to similar criminal communications with at least two other minor boys.

“This defendant’s criminal conduct was so heinous and cold-hearted that it almost defies description,” said First Assistant U.S. Attorney Williams.  “She maliciously manipulated a child into making and sending her pornography of himself. But that was not enough for this defendant.  She then manipulated the vulnerable child into attempting suicide. As a result of this prosecution and today’s sentencing, she will be behind bars for decades and will no longer pose a danger to other children.”

“Linda Paolini sexually exploited a boy the same age as her teen daughter. She even used pictures of her daughter to do it,” said Michael J. Driscoll, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI’s Philadelphia Division. “These were predatory, premeditated acts, solely for her own gratification. Today’s sentence ensures she is held accountable for the considerable damage done, and keeps her from victimizing anyone else’s child.”

The case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Michael J. Rinaldi.