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The Rise of 'Sextortion' Against Teens Posting Racy Photos of Themselves Online

We've seen plenty of examples recently of men using "sex-by-trick" to get women to sleep with them (e.g., pretending you are a "Jewish bachelor looking for a serious romantic relationship" or pretending you are a good-looking male model whose elderly dad (actually you) "requires constant sex to stay alive") -- but The Associated Press reports that a far creepier tactic is now on the rise: "Sextortion."

Cameramirrortop According to the AP, federal prosecutors are seeing an upswing in cases of online sexual extortion, where "teens who text nude cell phone photos of themselves or show off their bodies on the Internet are being contacted by pornographers who threaten to expose their behavior to friends and family unless they pose for more explicit porn, creating a vicious cycle of exploitation."

Some recent examples:

  • Three girls at a party visited an Internet chat room and yielded to requests to flash their breasts. A week later, one of the girls started getting e-mails from a stranger who said he had captured her image on the webcam and would publish the pictures unless she posed for more explicit pictures and videos for him. On at least two occasions, the girl did what her blackmailer demanded.
  • A 24-year-old man in Alabama was sentenced to 18 years in prison in April for "sending threatening e-mails on Facebook and MySpace extorting nude photos from more than 50 young women in Alabama, Pennsylvania and Missouri."
  • An 18-year-old man in Wisconsin recently received a sentence of 15 years in prison after he "posed as a girl on Facebook to trick male high school classmates into sending him nude cell phone photos, which he then used to extort them for sex."

Steve DeBrota, an assistant U.S. attorney in Indianapolis, warned that women who show off their bodies on the Internet need top realize that once the photos are online, "[y]ou are blackmailable... and you will do anything to keep those pictures from getting out." 

Posted by Bruce Carton on August 16, 2010 at 01:12 PM | Permalink | Comments (5)


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