Man Who Tried to Have His Child-Porn Victim Killed Is Headed to Prison

Man Who Tried to Have His Child-Porn Victim Killed Is Headed to Prison
Police tape blocks off a street near the train crash at New Jersey Transit's rail station in Hoboken, N.J., on Sept. 29, 2016. (Bryan R. Smith/AFP via Getty Images)

CAMDEN, N.J.—A New Jersey man has been sentenced to more than six years in federal prison after exchanging sexually explicit videos and images with a 13-year-old New York girl and later paying $20,000 in bitcoin to have her killed, eventually calling it off.

John Michael Musbach, 34, of Haddonfield, received his 78-month prison term Tuesday during a court hearing in Camden, according to federal prosecutors. He will also have to serve three years of supervised release after prison.

Musbach pleaded guilty in February to using interstate commerce facilities in the commission of a murder-for-hire plot.

He began communicating online with the girl in 2015 and eventually began using those chats to request and receive sexually explicit videos and photographs of the girl, and send her similar videos and images of himself. The girl’s parents discovered the nature of the chats and notified law enforcement in New York state, where they lived.

Musbach was arrested on child pornography charges in March 2016 and pleaded guilty to child endangerment in October 2017. He received a two-year suspended prison sentence and was placed on lifetime parole.

In May 2016, Musbach started communicating with the administrator of a murder-for-hire site on the darknet, while his criminal case was pending, officials have said. After asking whether the girl was too young to target and being told the age wasn’t a problem, prosecutors said, Musbach paid about $20,000 in bitcoin for the hit.

When pressed for an additional $5,000 to secure the hit, Musbach eventually sought to cancel and asked for a refund of his $20,000. The website’s administrator then revealed the site was a scam and threatened to reveal Musbach’s information to law enforcement.

Federal prosecutors have not said how the plot was uncovered. But during his indictment in 2020, prosecutors said an informant gave the Department of Homeland Security messages between Musbach and the fake website for contract killings.

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