Federal agents arrested Richard Bauer at his home in Los Angeles on Wednesday, according to Fox News, after he allegedly demanded more nudes to stop the release of ones he claimed to already have. According to the august 28 indictment, the former NASA contractor used Facebook to send questions to his victims that reflected password reset clues such as pet names and where their parents met. Bauer claimed the questions he asked were for a “human societies class.”
After receiving responses to his password-reset questions, he would use those passwords to gain access to their accounts, in which he would occasionally encounter nude or semi-nude photographs. Bauer, 28, also attempted to convince victims to install malware that include keyloggers, enabling him to capture logins and passwords, according to ArsTechnica.
Bauer would save these inappropriate photos and send one or more copies back to his female victims, demanding more photographs. Prosecutors say he allegedly would often specify what types of photos he desired including, “just underwear; your face doesn’t have to be visible.”
If the women failed to comply or did not meet his demands, Bauer threatened to publish the photos he allegedly contained of the women online. It is unclear how many of these women complied with his demands, but he is believed to have targeted at least seven women with the same demands for all.
Richard Gregory Bauer was charged in a 14-count indictment with stalking, unauthorized access to a protected computer and aggravated identity theft, according to the Orange County Register. A statement from the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Central District of California says if Bauer is convicted on all charges, he could receive 64 years in federal prison.
Bauer pleaded not guilty at his arraignment in Los Angeles on Thursday. Deputy Federal Public Defender Kelly Swanton represented Bauer, who was later released on a $50,000 bond.