Ottinger threatened to release sexually explicit images and videos of his victims in order to extort more media. In total, there were 42 known victims, including 23 minors, the U.S. Attorney’s Office says. Some of those juvenile victims were from the school district where Ottinger worked.
According to the Star Tribune, one of Ottinger’s victims, a 15-year-old boy, blocked Ottinger on social media. Ottinger reportedly texted the victim a nude photo of him and said, "Unblock me and be a good boy or I’ll show my friends. U can’t just ghost me."
According to the prosecution’s pre-sentence filing obtained by the Star Tribune, "Ottinger targeted these young boys and others not only to satisfy his appetite for images of the sexual abuse of children, but for the thrill of humiliating his victims."
The pre-sentence filing goes on to say, "He threatened to disseminate sexually explicit images produced at his behest, and actually did so, including to the victims’ friends and family members. For Ottinger, cruelty was not just a side effect: it was the point."
According to the U.S. Attorney’s Office, one of the victims reported the crime to the FBI’s National Threat Operations Center.
Ottinger was initially arrested and booked into the Sherburne County Jail on May 4, 2021, records show.
According to the U.S. Attorney’s Office, on Oct. 19, 2021, Ottinger pleaded guilty to two counts of production and attempted production of child pornography, along with one count of interstate communication with intent to extort.
On Monday, April 25, the U.S. Attorney’s Office announced that U.S. District Judge Wilhelmina M. Wright sentenced Ottinger to 480 months in prison, followed by 25 years of supervised release. According to the U.S. Attorney’s Office, Judge Wright commented, "Ottinger committed heinous crimes that introduced grievous harm and suffering into the lives of his victims."