The Georgia legislature is trying its hand at crafting a law to prohibit the behavior described as “sextortion.”
Generally, sextortion is defined as the practice of extorting money or sexual favors from someone by threatening to reveal evidence of their sexual activity. It is most commonly used in the context of efforts accomplished through the Internet.
The new Georgia law defines it as: “No person shall intentionally coerce orally, in writing, or electronically another individual who is more than 18 years of age to distribute any photograph, video, or other image that depicts any individual in a state of nudity or engaged in sexually explicit conduct.”
So, the Georgia law is a little more limited than the general definition. It limits the prohibited behavior to victims over 18 years of age because such conduct against victims under 18 years of age can be prosecuted under a more serious charge. It also limits the prohibited behavior to efforts to obtain nude images or images of sexually explicit conduct by the person.
It includes coercion whether by voice, by writing or by other electronic means. Coercion covers a very broad range of conduct.
(1) 'Coerce' means:
(A) Exposing or threatening to expose any fact or information that if revealed would tend to subject an individual to hatred, contempt, ridicule, or economic harm;
(B) Exposing or threatening to expose any photograph or video depicting an individual in a state of nudity or engaged in sexually explicit conduct;
(C) Exposing or threatening to expose any fact or information that if revealed would tend to subject an individual to criminal proceedings or threatening to accuse any individual of a criminal offense;
(D) Threatening to take or withhold action as a public official or cause an official to take or withhold action; or
(E) Threatening to take or withhold action as an employer or cause an employer to take or withhold action which would cause economic harm to an individual.
A first offense is charged as a high and aggravated misdemeanor. A second offense is a felony punishable by 1-5 years imprisonment.
The law applies to a person within or outside of Georgia and commits a violation involving a Georgia resident, and to Georgia residents who commit these offenses involving anyone inside or outside the state.
2019-2020 Section 2 OCGA 16-11-92
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