Tempe man pleads not guilty in sex extortion case

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Arash J. Shabazian By Jennifer Thomas Arash J. Shabazian By Jennifer Thomas

PHOENIX (AP) -- A Tempe man accused of trying to extort a 16-year-old girl and assault her if she didn't have sex with him has pleaded not guilty in the case.
Maricopa County prosecutors say 18-year-old Arash J. Shabazian entered his plea Monday.
Shabazian was arrested on suspicion of sexual exploitation of a minor and theft by extortion.
Tempe police say Shabazian created a fake online profile and told the girl on Nov. 17 that he had nude photos of her.
Shabazian allegedly told the teen he would delete the old photographs if she would send him new ones.
The girl reluctantly agreed, but Shabazian allegedly told her she had to perform a sex act for him to delete the old ones.
He also allegedly threatened to assault her if she told anyone.