News Tip

Governor Murphy Signs Law Criminalizing Sexual Extortion, Enhancing Protections for Victims

Governor Phil Murphy has signed bipartisan legislation (S653/A343) aimed at combating the rise of sexual extortion in the digital age. The new law criminalizes coercing another person into engaging in sexual contact or providing explicit images or videos under the threat of disclosing explicit sexual images or videos of the victim, or posing a risk to the victim's person, property, or reputation.

Governor Murphy stated that as cases of sexual extortion increase nationwide, it is essential to ensure New Jersey residents are protected from exploitation and victimization. The legislation modernizes the state's laws by enhancing protections for victims and allowing for more severe penalties for perpetrators of these crimes.

Attorney General Matthew J. Platkin expressed gratitude to Governor Murphy and the New Jersey Legislature for taking steps to protect vulnerable individuals, particularly children and developmentally disabled residents, from being blackmailed into engaging in sexual acts or exposing intimate images to predators.

Under the legislation, sexual extortion is classified as a third-degree crime, punishable by three to five years imprisonment, up to a $15,000 fine, or both. Aggravated sexual extortion, which includes acts of sexual extortion against a child under 18 or an adult with a developmental disability, is classified as a second-degree crime and is generally punishable by five to 10 years imprisonment, a fine of up to $150,000, or both.

Primary sponsors of the bill include Senators Steve Oroho and Fred H. Madden Jr., and Assemblymembers Aura Dunn, Angelica Jimenez, and Carol Murphy. The sponsors expressed their commitment to ensuring justice for victims of sexual extortion and acknowledging the importance of addressing and combating this growing issue in the digital age. The new law gives prosecutors the necessary tools to punish predators who exploit, scam, and shame vulnerable populations and sends a strong message that such crimes will not be tolerated in New Jersey.

I'm interested
I disagree with this
This is unverified