PORTLAND, Maine — A Westbrook man pled guilty Wednesday to charges of transporting pornography and transmitting an extortionate threat, according to the U.S. attorney’s office.

Michael Van Eekhout, 51, faces between five and 20 years behind bars and a fine of up to $250,000 on the pornography charge. He faces up to a year of supervised release on the threat charge.

According to court documents, Van Eekhout persuaded a woman to send him nude photographs of herself in late 2011, then told her he would widely disseminate the photos unless she took explicit photos of herself and sent them to him.

Upon the woman doing so, Van Eekhout posted the photos online, and he threatened to continue doing so in April 2012 unless she sent him more photos.

Last June, Van Eekhout, posing as the victim, sent a photo of a naked prepubescent female to an undercover federal agent, and he was arrested a month later.

Van Eekhout will be sentenced at a later date.

Ryan McLaughlin

BDN sports reporter Ryan McLaughlin grew up in Brewer and is a lifelong fan of the New England Patriots, Boston Red Sox, Boston Celtics and Boston Bruins. In "The Boston Blitz" he'll be sharing his perspective...