Saturday, December 05, 2020

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What is sextortion

Prolific Sextortionist jailed for 40 years after exploiting as many as 150 girls

A man from Atlanta, Georgia, was jailed for 40 years for coercing up to 150 girls to send him sexually explicit images and videos. Benjamin Jenkins, aged 25 years old, threatened girls between the ages of 13-16, that if they did not comply with his never ending demands to send him more naked videos and pictures, then he would send the images that he already had to their families and publish them online. 

Sextortion conviction

What is sextortion

Sextortion in the UK

Sextortion conviction

Jenkins was convicted for producing child pornography and distributing child pornography in a case that dated back to 2015. Jenkins used the internet, using various aliases and fake profiles posing as a teenager, to make contact with his teenage victims.

He quickly moved on to persuading these vulnerable teenagers to send him graphic images or videos. He instructed them to gratify themselves sexually with objects and coerced them into performing vile acts of licking toilets and drinking their own urine. Once Jenkins had one piece of sexually explicit material, he used the content to blackmail the teenage girls into sending him more videos and images of the same graphic nature. If any of the girls did not respond to his demands, he would threaten them with what he called a ‘countdown clock’, where he would give them more time to send him the content. 

One of the sextortionist’s victims blocked him online and he carried out the threat and sent the explicit material to her family and friends and then demanded that she resumed sending him explicit pictures and videos. At the same time, he also posted the naked pictures of his victims online and encouraged other men to contact them for sex, in a doxing situation, where he published their contact details. The sextortionist’s victims felt that there was no way out and that they would get into trouble if they did not do what Jenkins told them to do. The US Attorney, Byung J said that Jenkins caused unbelievable trauma and distress to the sextortion victims and their families, for his own perverse satisfaction. “The sheer degradation and depravity that Jenkins forced his victims to endure is unimaginable. This sentence will hopefully help these courageous victims and their families heal.” Jenkins will be on the sex offender’s list in addition to the 40-year prison sentence for Coercion and Enticement of a Minor and will spend the rest of his life, on supervised release.

What is sextortion

Sextortion is when a predator online coerces their victims online into sending sexually explicit material to them and then ultimately uses that explicit material to threaten their victims to produce more or they will publish the material online and send to family and friends. Sextortion is an insidious, monstrous crime on the internet and unfortunately many young people are falling victim to these coercive and manipulative criminals.

Educating young people about the dangers of sending intimate images online is imperative for parents, care givers, guardians and education providers in order to protect children from online exploitation under the hand of a sextortionist in the extreme instances. Teaching young people to not contact or share content with strangers, is a good place to start. Read more about the dangers of sending intimate images online. Remember to contact the police immediately if you suspect that someone that you know is a victim of sextortion. Contact an internet lawyer for more information.

Sextortion in the UK

The number of so-called sextortion crimes recorded in the UK so far this year has more than doubled since 2015 and exceeded eight hundred and sixty cases. This is according to the latest data from the National Crime Agency or NCA. Sextortion is a form of blackmail where criminals use fake identities to flirt with potential victims online and then persuade them to perform sexual acts in front of a webcam. These images get recorded by criminals, who then threaten to make them public unless their demands, usually financial ones, are fulfilled.

According to the NCA, at least four men have committed suicide in the past year due to the cyber racket. The agency also believes that the true number of such crimes is actually higher, as lots of victims are simply too embarrassed to come forward. It notes that nowadays there exist international gangs of organised criminals who practice sextortion. Usually they operate out of Asia, with many also being located in the Philippines. This hampers the prosecution process, since many criminals and their victims live in different parts of the world and thus cases might be subjected to different jurisdictions.

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