Bill To Strengthen Penalty On Sextortion Heads To Oklahoma House

A new effort is making its way through the state legislature to increase the penalties for 'sextortion' to protect children. This week- the Oklahoma Senate unanimously passed a bill to get that done. 

Thursday, March 7th 2024, 10:39 pm

By: News 9, Jordan Fremstad


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A new effort is making its way through the state legislature to increase the penalties for 'sextortion' to protect children. This week- the Oklahoma Senate unanimously passed a bill to get that done. 

Oklahoma Senate Pro Tem Greg Treat said crimes like these target children. He said Oklahoma needs harsher penalties to deter these actions. “I want to protect Oklahoma's children,” Treat said. “This is a growing problem. it’s not going away.” 

Nationwide children are falling victim online. “Oklahoma kids are being targeted by people who are trying to extort them for money,’ Treat said. 

Sextortion tricks people and children into sending nude photos and uses those photos as leverage to get something from the individual. “... and destroy you, your reputation, and your life,” Treat said. 

According to the Federal Bureau of Investigation – the average victims are boys ages 14 to 17. Between October 2021 and March 2023, the FBI reported at least 12,600 sextortion victims – most of whom were boys. These crimes led to 20 victims dying by suicide. “Because they just believe their lives have no hope anymore,” Treat said. 

Treat authored Senate Bill 1479 to increase the crime penalty. “It updates our revenge porn statutes,” Treat said. “Give people up to 10 years in prison” 

A unified Senate floor agreed with Treat’s mission to hold offenders accountable. The Senate unanimously passed the bill 45-0.  “I’m passionate about trying to get this done,” Treat said. 

The bill will head to the House. Treat is working with Rep. Toni Hasenbeck who had a similar bill last session.

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