– Rep. Tedd Nesbit (R-Butler/Mercer) announced today that his legislation to create a new crime of sexual extortion is on its way to the governor’s desk.
“I am grateful to my colleagues, in both the House and Senate for their bipartisan support of this important piece of legislation,” said Nesbit. “My legislation would help law enforcement and victim service organizations address this serious sex crime of sexual extortion, which often falls through the cracks of our current criminal justice system.”
Sexual extortion is a growing form of sexual exploitation, which current Pennsylvania law does not adequately cover. Nesbit’s bill will enable Pennsylvania to keep pace in a digital age that often facilitates certain types of sexual extortion.
The Department of Justice recently reported sexual extortion is “by far the most significantly growing threat to children.” In fact, 71% of cases involve victims under the age of 18. A 2015 FBI sexual extortion investigation found that offenders were specifically seeking out children they considered easy targets because of their demonstrated willingness to post personal content online and engage in live-streaming video activity, whether the content was sexually explicit or not.
The mix of technology and those who want to criminally exploit others is significantly responsible for the rise in this crime.
“I am excited that this legislation is on its way to the governor’s desk, so that Pennsylvania can lead the nation in addressing this serious sex crime,” continued Nesbit. “We know that with new and expanding technology, our state laws need to keep up to protect the most vulnerable.”
Representative Tedd Nesbit
8th Legislative District
Pennsylvania House of Representatives
Media Contact: Brooke Haskell