updated 12/11/2010 12:03:01 AM ET 2010-12-11T05:03:01

A Florida man accused of using Facebook to harass Louisiana State University sorority pledges and pressure them into sending him nude pictures over the Internet also is a suspect in other states, authorities said Friday.

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LSU campus police officers and Florida Department of Law Enforcement agents on Thursday arrested 27-year-old Mitchell Hill at a home in Key West, where he works as a chef at a Cuban restaurant.

He's facing only Louisiana charges so far, but FDLE spokesman Keith Kameg said Hill is suspected in cyber stalking investigations by police at the University of Florida, Florida State University and possibly other Florida schools.

Similar cases also have been reported at Auburn University, the University of Alabama and University of Tennessee, but investigators said there probably are others.

"It's really a huge sense of relief" knowing there has been an arrest, said 18-year-old Florida State student Ashley Atchison, who temporarily left school because she was so traumatized.

Hill, who moved to Florida from Cincinnati within the past two years, was being held without bond in the Monroe County Jail after he refused to waive extradition during a court appearance Friday in Key West.

He is charged with two counts of extortion, two counts of video voyeurism and 12 counts of attempted video voyeurism. Extortion is the most serious charge, which carries a maximum sentence of 15 years in prison. The video voyeurism charge can carry up to five years in prison.

Hill's lawyer, Richard Fowler, said he was representing Hill locally on a drunken driving charge and in extradition proceedings. He had no comment on the charges.

Fake names and demands
Campus police in Louisiana and Florida say victims in both states were contacted through Facebook by someone claiming to be an alumna of the sorority they were pledging. The stalker used fake names that included "Marissa" and "Lexie," asked intimate questions, and demanded that victims disrobe on camera or send nude photographs.

If they didn't comply, the cyber stalker would threaten their standing with their sorority, said LSU police Sgt. Blake Tabor.

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Atchison said in a telephone interview from her home in Jacksonville that she refused the demands for images by claiming she didn't have a camera. Then "Lexie" began playing mind games and suggested a couple girls who were outside her dorm would "handle" her.

"I started going to the counseling center because I was having whacky dreams and I was put on medicine because I wasn't sleeping," Atchison said. "It's just kind of creepy when somebody knows where your dorm is, what your class schedule is."

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Hill was resourceful in finding personal information about the victims on Facebook, Tabor said.

"What we're hoping is that through this investigation that it'll heighten people's awareness of the information that they're putting out there and just how easily attainable it is," Tabor said.

LSU investigators had been working on the case since early October and finally got a break when Facebook provided data that led to Hill, Tabor said.

Authorities will ask Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal to request that Hill be extradited to Louisiana. But that won't happen until a drunken driving charge against Hill is resolved in Florida.

FDLE agents also served a search warrant when Hill was arrested. They seized his computer and turned it over to LSU police, Wilson said.

Atchison, meanwhile, is returning in January to Florida State.

"It's been a long time coming," she said. "But I'm very excited he's finally caught and not going to do this to any other girls."

Copyright 2010 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Video: TODAY helps in arrest of sorority stalker

  1. Closed captioning of: TODAY helps in arrest of sorority stalker

    >>> scam targeting sorority pledges. jeff rossen has been following the case.

    >> reporter: police say it was an online predator who was e-mailing sorority pledges, demanding nude photos, threatening violence and disclosing secrets. police were stumped until now. investigators say this is the man who did it. preying on sorority girls from his home computer . it all started with a facebook chat.

    >> the first conversation was about two hours long and very thorough and in department.

    >> about your life?

    >> they get you.

    >> reporter: ashley is a freshman at florida state university , she even got a chance to pledge a sorority.

    >> they basically said, tell me anything about you, what your personality is like, why you decided to join a sorority, how was your family life like?

    >> reporter: so you thought it was legitimate?

    >> they asked me what color underwear i was wearing and then they asked me to go even further and to put them in my mouth to show that i was below them.

    >> they wanted you to take a nude picture of yourself.

    >> yes, they did.

    >> reporter: you thought this was what you had to do to join the sorority?

    >> basically. they threatened me to use any secrets.

    >> reporter: police say it was all a scan, ashley was actually chatting with mitchell hill, a 26-year-old man hundreds of miles away now being charged with video voyeurism and extortion.

    >> the "today" show was instrumental in con joining the efforts of all the law enforcement agencies to --

    >> reporter: hill targeted women at schools all over the southeast. smu, the yooefuniversity of florida, the university of alabama and lshs su.

    >> i had word from the police that girl actually fully undressed themselves on skype which is is a video camera for this person. they lured them in to go to that extent.

    >> we are glad we were able to assist in getting a predator off the street and we do urge any other victim to please come forward so this young man can be brought to justice for every single crime he has committed.

    >> reporter: police recovered mitchell hill's computer. they actually found evidence connecting him to at least 11 victims. one thing they don't know right now, how he picked the women to target. how did he know they were sorority pledges for example. ashley is just relieved they have somebody in custody.

    >> jeff, thank you very much.


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