A Dresden man was sentenced to 24 months in prison on Monday after pleading guilty in March to four counts of extortion, all third-degree felonies.
Jason Mark Snyder, 27, of 18 W. Eighth St., had threatened a Marietta woman and said that if she did not comply with his demands, he would show photographs she had previously sent to her friends and family. her family for dishonoring her, Washington County District Attorney Nicole Coil said.
Snyder was charged in July 2021 with six counts, including four counts of extortion, all third-degree felonies; one count of criminal harassment threat and one count of aggravated threat, both first degree misdemeanors.
In the first count, which ran from February 7, 2019 to February 9, 2021, Snyder threatened to kidnap and/or rape his victim. The second count was for allegedly threatening to expose the photographs in May 2020.
Count three was for threatening to expose the photos from August 1, 2020 to September 1, 2020, while count four allegedly attempted the same offense from November 1, 2020 to December 1, 2020.
During sentencing, the victim came forward and explained how Snyder’s actions had affected her and her family. She said she really feared for her life and there were days when she couldn’t sleep unless her husband was with her.
“I just don’t understand how anyone could do or say the things that were said. I went to the police several times and was told it was my fault and I should just move on and make better choices,” she says. “The fear I was in for months was horrible and if it wasn’t for my husband I don’t think I would have ever come forward because I was really scared and didn’t want anything to happen to my family. .”
She said her sister refused to return to social media because of the possible backlash on the victim.
“It’s really horrible to be scared every day and not know if someone is watching you” she says.
Washington County Assistant District Attorney David Silwani said the state is seeking a nine-month prison sentence.
He said he wanted to officially state that the extortion was a crime of violence and that the victim had suffered serious psychological harm.
“She was terrorized by the accused for months,” he said.
The relationship with the victim also facilitated the offending, he said. The victim was friends with the wife of the accused, which makes the offense more serious.
Silwani said the offense was not a “a unique thing”it was several incidents over the years of time.
“It was a long driving pattern that happened over time,” he said.
Defense attorney Chase Mallory said his client was educated and from a good family. He also had a job without financial problems.
“As soon as he was caught, he made a 180” he said.
He said Snyder suffered from severe depression and anxiety and drank alcohol to excess. He said each factor indicated that it was a non-violent offense and that Snyder was not a violent person.
He noted that Snyder was still with his wife and they were expecting their first baby. He asked for community control, saying “there are other ways to punish him enough without sending him to prison.”
In his own defense, Snyder apologized to the victim and his family.
“I can’t imagine having to deal with this over the years,” said Common Pleas Judge Mark Kerenyi. “For some reason you enjoyed tormenting another person and I don’t understand that and it concerns me.”
He said he was torn about whether Snyder led a law-abiding life because for a significant number of years he committed crimes like this.
“I can’t understand how someone could scare a victim for years for no apparent reason,” he said. “She never did anything to you, but for some reason you decided to torment someone.”
Snyder was sentenced to 24 months on each of four counts, to run concurrently. Kerenyi said the court could consider judicial release after an appropriate time.
“I don’t know if you realize how bad this is, but putting someone through this kind of hell for such a long time is just not appropriate behavior.” said Kerenyi.
Michele Newbanks can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.