Woman claims former Universal co-workers extorted money for nude photos

Deputies recommend charges for William Smallwood, Melissa Santos-Piritos

By Troy Campbell - Reporter

ORLANDO, Fla. - The Orange County Sheriff's Office has recommended charges against two people after they demanded money for nude photographs, investigators said.

Authorities wrote in their warrant affidavit that William Smallwood, 31, and Melissa Santos-Piritos, 24, sent messages to the victim in this case, demanding money for nude photographs to be returned to her.

Investigators said that, on Friday night, the victim received a money request on Cash App, demanding $451. A short time later, the victim told investigators that she received a second request, as well.

On Saturday, the victim told detectives that Santos-Piritos contacted one of the victim's friends on Facebook, also demanding the $451 or all of the compromising photographs would be released on the internet on New Year's Day.

The victim told deputies that she met Santos-Piritos while the two worked as ride attendants on Universal Studios' Popeye and Bluto's Bilge-Rat Barges from 2015 to 2017. Smallwood worked at Universal as well, the victim said.

The Sheriff's Office wrote in the warrant affidavit that the victim "is in fear that if she does not send the money, they will post her nude pictures everywhere."

Court records show Santos-Piritos was arrested Sunday.

News 6 emailed Universal for a statement and to verify if the two suspects are current employees, but we did not immediately hear back.

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