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SEXTORTION: The Latest in Internet and Cell Phone Danger for Teens

Many teenagers take sexually explicit or even nude pictures of themselves and send them to others either online or through text messaging. This is called "Sexting". Sexting occurs more frequently than parents can imagine. These photos become "Sextortion" when they are used as a tool of exploitation or extortion.

Recently a Colorado teenage girl made the mistake of sending her naked picture to a 20-year-old man in California. This teenage girl thought this young man liked her and she had feelings for him. She accepted him as a friend on Facebook site. After receiving the teenage girlís naked picture, the man threatened her, telling her that if she didnít send him $1500.00 dollars or send him more naked pictures of herself, he would send her naked picture to all her friends on Facebook.

The teenage girl was faced with the possibility of her naked picture being distributed to all her friends and felt pressured to comply. The teenager finally told her mother, who then alerted law enforcement. This 20-year-old man was identified and prosecuted. He was sentenced to prison.

These "Sextortion" cases are very concerning to law enforcement as frightened victims might give in to demands such as posing for explicit photos, having sex with the perpetrator or sending them money. District Attorney Investigator Mike Harris asks parents and possible victims of "Sextortion" to report incidents to law enforcement. These threats and demands need to be investigated and the suspects stopped.