Now Reading
Sextortion Laws: Are You Protected?

Sextortion Laws: Are You Protected?

It’s every person’s nightmare – getting a terrifying email or message that someone has captured explicit images or videos of you and is threatening to release them to your friends, family, and colleagues unless you comply with their demands. As the popularity of accessible technology increases, so does the incidence of sextortion. Unfortunately, many victims feel like they have no choice but to succumb to the demands of the perpetrator. However, there are laws in place that can help protect you from sextortion and other types of online exploitation. This post will discuss what sextortion is, what protection is available to you under the law, and how to get help if you’ve been victimized.

What Is sextortion?

Is sextortion a crime? Yes, it is. Sextortion is a type of online blackmail in which someone uses explicit images or videos of a person to extort money or sexual favors from them.

Using guilt, power, or damaging information against another person to force him or her to do something against his or her will. People suffered a great deal of psychological and personal pain, and many did not seek help due to the embarrassment, shame, and guilt they felt from sextortion crimes.

The problem of sextortion is widespread and not linked to a single website or app. Various regulations apply to the pursuit of the crime, and it can take on several forms. Keep reading as we descend into it.

What Laws are in place for protection?

Even though sextortion is not identified by the law as one single crime, you can be charged with several crimes, such as blackmail or bribery, if you are accused of sextortion. Nearly every state criminalizes the nonconsensual distribution of intimate images under “sexting” laws, a dozen states have prosecuted revenge porn or sextortion cases using general extortion, harassment, bribery, and child pornography laws rather than specific sextortion laws.

It is intended to legitimize a growing digital crime that has received media attention but is not addressed in law, namely sextortion. Arkansas and Utah were the first states to sanction specific Sextortion laws. Violating the First Amendment rights to free speech.

Arizona’s revenge porn law was struck down early on (it was later revised), and other court cases are still pending, including in Illinois and Texas.  It may also be referred to as extortion, coercion, or intentional coercion under these laws. Sextortion crimes typically involve the use of a computer. Hacking a computer for sextortion could result in prosecution for unauthorized access under 18 U.S.C. Section 1030. This crime carries a felony punishment of up to 10 years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000.

As a result, some laws vary depending on where you live, but most of them are protecting you in some way or another.

The Difference between State and Federal Sextortion Laws

In federal laws that target sextortion with sexual elements, the victim’s age is considered an element of the crime rather than an aggravating factor. The majority of federal laws used to prosecute sextortion activities that do not involve minor victims and do not specifically address the sexual exploitation of the victims.


If you have fallen victim to Sextortion don’t panic. These next few steps are very crucial:

  • Document everything, any harassing accounts, messages, and handles.
  • Report the crime to law enforcement, the FBI, and blackmail specialists. You can also go online and report directly to the FBI, using their internet crimes complaint center and file a police report with your local law enforcement agency.
  • Do not pay your Blackmailer. Often this just makes things worse and they will keep asking for money until there is nothing left.
  • Stall them. Try and hold off the blackmailer, get as much time as possible so you can figure out your next steps.
  • Don’t block them! Blocking them will make the sextortionist angrier. These are professionals they have hundreds of accounts ready to go in case one gets removed or blocked.
  • Lastly, get help. You are not alone in this. Sextortion is on the rise due to technology being so accessible and social media being so prevalent.


We offer immediate, 24/7 assistance from our team of investigators.

How to Report Online Sextortion?

Online sextortion is a serious problem, and if you are a victim, you may be wondering how to report it. The first thing to do is to resist the sextortionist’s demands. Then, you should document all communications with the sextortionist. Next, you should contact the Internet Crimes Complaint Center, FBI, INTERPOL, or another national agency.

You can also report sextortion to someone who specializes in this type of crime, for example to this Sextortion Helpline

Leave a Response

Please enter the result of the calculation above.