“Sextortion” is a crime many Texans have recently heard or read about. While these crimes are making headlines, there is still confusion over what sextortion is and is not. In addition, the “sextortion” of minors is rampant in Texas.
Sextortion combines the words “sex” and “extortion.” Oftentimes, perpetrators threaten to distribute sexually explicit or nude images if the victim does not pay them money or send other goods. Reports of sextortion of children and teenagers are on the rise.
If you or your loved one have been accused of sextortion of a minor, you must take these charges seriously. Contact a Plano sex crimes defense attorney today. You need an experienced criminal defense attorney familiar with state and federal laws.
What Is Sextortion Of Minors?
While each allegation of sextortion of minors has varying details, most contain these core elements:
- An adult develops an online relationship with a minor.
- The adult asks the minor to send them sexually explicit or nude images. The minor also complies.
- The adult then blackmails the minor. Perpetrators often threaten to share these explicit images of the minor unless they comply with a request. Often, they want money or additional photos.
Perpetrators who engage in sextortion are often good at what they do. Moreover, they can hack online accounts and assume someone else’s identity to commit these crimes. Inevitably, adults who are not guilty may find themselves the target of false accusations.
Where Does Sextortion of Minors Occur?
Sextortion of a minor can happen anywhere on the internet, but reports of the crime are occurring more on certain websites.
According to recent reports from the Cibolo TX Police Department, sextortion has been reported by young Instagram and Snapchat users. Moreover, these two social media sites allow for the easy exchange of photographs. Children playing Minecraft and Roblox have also been targeted.
Sextortion Crimes and the Texas Penal Code
Anyone accused of sextortion of a minor may face federal or state charges. The Texas Penal Code does not mention “sextortion” per se, as this is an informal term. At the state level, several crimes may fall under the umbrella of sextortion of a minor including:
- § 21.16. Unlawful Disclosure Or Promotion Of Intimate Visual Material (State Jail Felony)
- § 21.18. Sexual Coercion (State Jail Felony)
- § 21.19. Unlawful Electronic Transmission Of Sexually Explicit Visual Material (Class C Misdemeanor)
Individuals may face enhanced charges and penalties if there are mitigating circumstances or if they have a prior criminal record.
In addition to time behind bars and monetary fines, those convicted of sextortion of a minor face other consequences. A conviction has the potential to harm someone’s reputation forever. A criminal record can stand in the way of renting a home in your preferred neighborhood or getting the job of your dreams.
Accused of Sextortion of Minors? Here’s What NOT to Do
Local and federal law enforcement are vigilant about catching anyone who engages in the sextortion of a minor. Further, as awareness of these crimes increases, many may face false accusations.
Having law enforcement show up at your home or work is nerve-wracking. Here are three things to avoid if the police wish to speak with you.
Don’t Agree to Voluntary Searches or Seizures
Law enforcement must have your permission or a search warrant to go through or take your belongings. If the police say they have a search warrant, ask to see a copy. Search warrants are specific about when and where searches can occur. For example, if the search warrant is only for your place of work, law enforcement cannot also search your home.
Without a search warrant, the police could still perform an illegal search against your wishes. Then, if that happens to you, reiterate that you disagree with the search. Then contact an attorney as soon as possible.
Don’t Talk to Law Enforcement
You may feel a quick conversation will clear up a misunderstanding, but such efforts are rarely beneficial. Law enforcement who are eager to catch predators can be relentless interrogators. To defend yourself, you may only make matters worse. Only speak with law enforcement personnel with your attorney present.
Don’t Wait to Contact a Plano Sextortion Crimes Attorney
When the FBI or the local police ask to speak with you, they’ve already built a case against you. There is no reason to wait to see if formal charges are pressed. Consult an attorney who can advise you on the best course of action.
Starr Law, P.C. Can Defend You Against Sextortion Charges
Many Plano law firms take on sex crime cases, but not all have the experience and tenacity of Attorney Kent Starr.
Attorney Starr believes that anyone facing sextortion of minor charges deserves competent representation.
He is not a “plea bargain attorney” who is afraid to go to trial. Mr. Starr does not pressure his clients to accept the prosecution’s first offer. Also, he fights for the best possible outcome for each and every client.
Read Attorney Kent Starr’s Google reviews to see what he has done for other clients. He is also more than happy to sit down and discuss the results of similar cases, as this information is public record.
Attorney Starr represents clients in State and Federal Court.
Many online crime cases, including sextortion of a minor, are heard in Federal Court. Mr. Starr can defend clients in either jurisdiction.
Attorney Starr is also a bail bondsman.
As a bail bonds attorney, Mr. Starr can secure your freedom 24/7. One call to his office gets clients out of jail and starts their legal representation. He can negotiate the terms of their release so charges don’t get in the way of work and family life.
Speak With a Sextortion Defense Attorney Today
Take action now to preserve your legal rights. Mr. Starr can help you whether you suspect you are under investigation or charges have already been brought forth. Contact Starr Law, P.C. today to schedule a consultation.