Publication:
THE SEXTORTION PHENOMENON: CREATING A LEGAL FRAMEWORK TO EFFECTIVELY SAFEGUARD MINOR VICTIMS

Loading...
Thumbnail Image
Authors
Vera, Brittany J.
Subjects
sextortion
sex crimes
minor victims
child sexual abuse material
CSAM
cybercrimes
catfishing
grooming
exploitation
sexual abuse
Advisors
Matei, Cristiana
Brannan, David W.
Date of Issue
2024-03
Date
Publisher
Monterey, CA; Naval Postgraduate School
Language
Abstract
This thesis studies the prevalent and complex issue of sextortion, focusing on its detrimental effects on minors. It critically analyzes how this form of exploitation, which involves blackmailing minors for sexual content, sexual activity, or money, unfolds across the digital world. The current legal framework in California, Penal Code 518(b), fails to differentiate between adult and minor victims sufficiently and does not classify sextortion as a sex crime. To test the adequacy of current laws to prosecute sextortion in California, this thesis compared two case studies involving sex offender registration/community notification and human trafficking and conducted interviews with district attorneys, defense attorneys, and law enforcement officers across California. It also explored legal frameworks from Utah, South Carolina, and New Jersey, which have enacted more targeted sextortion laws for minors. This thesis underscores the need for laws that are adaptable to technological advances, especially artificial intelligence, and that can more effectively protect vulnerable young children. The thesis concludes that a combination of legislative reform and educational initiatives is crucial for combating sextortion. This approach addresses the legal gaps and raises awareness and prevention, aiming to offer comprehensive protection and justice for minors affected by this heinous crime.
Type
Thesis
Description
Series/Report No
Department
National Security Affairs (CHDS)
Organization
Identifiers
NPS Report Number
Sponsors
Funder
Format
Citation
Distribution Statement
Distribution Statement A. Approved for public release: Distribution is unlimited.
Rights
Copyright is reserved by the copyright owner.
Collections