updated 03/10/2010 AT 2:00 PM ET
•originally published 03/10/2010 AT 3:00 PM ET
A would-be blackmailer accused of targeting Cindy Crawford and husband Rande Gerber in an unsuccessful extortion plot has been sentenced by a German court to two years behind bars.
Edis Kayalar, 26, was convicted of threatening to sell what he called a “sexy” photo of the couple’s then-7-year-old daughter tied to a chair with a gag in her mouth. The child apparently was playing when the photo was taken, according to authorities.
In a statement Wednesday, Crawford and Gerber said, “We want to express our gratitude to the FBI, the U.S. District Attorney’s Office in Los Angeles and the German law-enforcement authorities for their coordination and efforts in this case.”
Kayalar, an aspiring German model, was charged with one count of extortion in U.S. District Court in November and surrendered to German authorities one week later. His case was tried overseas because Germany does not extradite its nationals.
The judge in the case, Joachim Spieth, was quoted in German media as saying, “The attempted extortion was at an advanced stage and failed.”