Philadelphia woman sentenced to 35 years in prison for seducing boy online

PHILADELPHIA — A 45-year-old woman who pretended to be her teen daughter and seduced a Florida boy who she then tried to convince to kill himself is going to prison.

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U.S. District Judge Nitza I. Quiñones Alejandro sentenced Linda Paolini to 35 years in prison plus a lifetime of supervised release and ordered her to pay more than $15,000 in fines, the U.S. Attorney’s Office Eastern Disctrict of Pennsylvania said. In October, Paolini pleaded guilty to child pornography and enticement charges.

Under the guise of a 16-year-old girl, Paolini used social media to meet and coerce a 16-year-old Florida boy to produce and send her sexually explicit videos of himself. She sent him provocative images of her own daughter to convince the boy she was real.

Later, Paolini faked her own suicide during an online video chat in an attempt to get the boy to kill himself in solidarity. She admitted to having similar interactions with two other boys.

“This defendant’s criminal conduct was so heinous and cold-hearted that it almost defies description,” First Assistant U.S. Attorney Jennifer Arbittier Williams said in a release. “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.”

The Associated Press contributed to this report.