With the growing technological advancements, sexual extortion is quickly becoming a common form of sexual exploitation. Victims of this crime often experience adverse mental, physical, economic, and reputational damages.
You risk serious penalties if convicted of this crime. If you or your loved one have been charged with sexual exploitation, you can defend yourself with the help of a Lemoyne criminal defense lawyer.
What is Sexual Extortion in Pennsylvania?
Under Title 18 Section 3133 of the Pennsylvania Crimes Code, a person commits the offense of sexual extortion if they intentionally and knowingly force or make a complainant to:
- Engage, produce, transmit, or disseminate any video or recording showing the victim in a state of nudity, simulating sexual behavior, or engaging in sexual conduct.
Means of Perpetrating Sexual Extortion
Sexual extortion also happens when an offender uses the following means to subject a victim to the above conditions:
- Threatening to harm or harming the victim, their property, or family
- Withholding or threatening to withhold employment, a service, or something of value to the victim
- Threatening to make or making a nude or sexual video, image, or other material against the wishes of the complainant
- Exposing or threatening to expose the victim’s personal and sensitive information that would make the victim subject to civil actions, criminal proceedings, embarrassment, hate, or ridicule
- Threatening to cause a loss, injury, or disadvantage to the victim or their family
Demanding Property for Sexual Coercion
An offender is also guilty of sexual coercion if they intentionally or knowingly:
- Demand money, property, or services from the victim or their family in exchange for not exposing or removing from public view images, videos, or recordings obtained through a violation of the above conditions.
- Transmitting, distributing, disseminating, or threatening to do so regarding sexual materials belonging to an individual to another person, social media platforms, or entity while demanding payment from the victim
Examples of Sexual Extortion
Perpetrators of sexual extortion are all around us. Situations that amount to the offense include:
- An employer withholding a promotion unless an employee engages in sexual relations with them
- A treatment provider threatening to include false information that could jeopardize a person’s professional or social relationships if a patient doesn’t offer sexual favors
- Officers in correctional institutions providing special privileges for sexual acts or images or withholding special treatment if the person refuses
- Teachers providing better grades in return for sexual favors or threatening to fail students if they refuse
Venue and Jurisdiction for Sexual Extortion Offenses
Different scenarios arise where the offense occurs in a different state or country other than the victim’s jurisdiction. The law provides that a violation occurs either at the location where the communication was transmitted or received. The standard procedure is for the offense to be reported where the victim was at the communication time.
If you’re arrested for sexual extortion offenses, you would be confused and not know how to defend yourself. Avoid saying anything that could incriminate you, and instead, contact a sex crimes defense lawyer in Lemoyne to fight for your rights.
What Are the Sexual Extortion Penalties in Pennsylvania?
Sexual extortion is a first-degree misdemeanor that attracts a penalty of up to 5 years in prison. That is in addition to a $10,000 fine.
In some cases, the offense is charged as a third-degree felony that attracts a maximum sentence of not more than seven years in prison. That’s in addition to a fine of $15,000 if the offender is 18 years and above. The following conditions must also be present:
- The victim is intellectually incapacitated
- The complainant is not yet 18 years of age
- The offense forms part of a course of conduct
- The perpetrator holds a senior position to the victim, for example, can impose disciplinary action by virtue of their professional, legal, or employment status.
- The offender has a previous conviction for a similar crime.
Such cases may drag on for years, and your future, reputation, and freedom are at stake when you are convicted. If you’ve been charged with sexual extortion, consider hiring the services of an experienced Lemoyne sex crimes defense lawyer. They will evaluate the evidence brought against you and create a solid case to have the charges reduced or dropped to safeguard your future.
What Are the Possible Defenses for Sexual Extortion?
One of the most difficult tasks of the prosecution in a sexual extortion case is proving that the defendant actually committed the crime knowingly or made intentional threats for sexual exploitation if the victim didn’t meet certain conditions.
Sex crimes defense attorneys in Lemoyne can skillfully challenge the evidence and prove that you didn’t knowingly or intentionally force the victim. They can argue that the victim’s threats or force allegations are false.
Other possible defenses are:
- Violation of your constitutional rights: The police must comply with an individual’s constitutional rights in the Fourth, Fifth, and Sixth amendments. If the attorney can successfully argue that your rights were violated at the time of the arrest, the defense may suppress the critical evidence. That could cause the charges to be dismissed or reduced.
- Lack of intent: Sexual extortion requires the specific intent to commit the crime. The prosecution must prove this intention.
- Mental incapacitation or insanity: Your attorney may use the insanity defense to argue that you were mentally incapacitated at the time the offense occurred and was not aware of the wrongdoing
- Factual innocence: Your lawyer can argue that your conduct doesn’t match up to the elements of the crime; hence you’re innocent based on the aspects of sexual extortion.
A Criminal Defense Lawyer Aggressively Fighting to Protect Your Rights
Being charged with a sexual extortion crime in Pennsylvania can be frightening. You want to protect your reputation, rights, and future. The best way to do this would be to get legal representation from a skilled and experienced Lemoyne criminal defense attorney. The sooner you speak to an attorney, the better the chances of a favorable outcome.
Our criminal defense firm wants to help you in your case. We have worked on issues similar to yours for years, helping our clients have their charges reduced or dropped, and we could do the same for you. Call us today for knowledgeable legal advice.