Westport Sextortion Lawyer
Extorting someone by threatening to release private photos of them in the nude or engaged in sexual intercourse is taken very seriously by Connecticut law enforcement authorities, as is the actual act of releasing images of this nature without the depicted person’s consent. Either way, if you have been accused of “sextortion” or a related sex crime and want to effectively protect your best interests, you should make contacting and retaining a knowledgeable Westport sextortion lawyer one of your top priorities.
How Does State Law Define “Sextortion?”
“Sextortion” is a colloquial term that generally refers to one of two distinct criminal offenses: “Unlawful Dissemination of an Intimate Image,” and “Larceny by Extortion.” The former is defined under Connecticut General Statutes (C.G.S.) § 53a-189c as someone publishing, publicizing, or otherwise distributing any visual depiction of someone else engaged in sexual intercourse or with intimate areas of their body exposed without the depicted person’s consent.
More specifically, the depicted person must have had reasonable grounds to believe that the image(s) in question would not be disseminated in the way that they were, and they must have suffered some kind of physical, psychological, social, financial, or professional harm because of that dissemination. Additionally, the depicted person must be clearly identifiable as a specific individual, the image(s) must not show them engaged in sexual conduct or display voluntarily in a public and/or commercial setting, and the dissemination must not have served the “public interest.”
The other form of “sextortion” is threatening to disseminate intimate images as described above specifically to compel the depicted person to pay money or provide something else of value in exchange for the image(s) not being released. This is addressed under C.G.S. § 53a-122 as a form of Larceny in the First Degree, something which a Westport sextortion attorney can explain in more detail as needed.
Possible Penalties for a Criminal Conviction
If someone violates C.G.S. § 53a-189c by unlawfully disseminating an intimate image to just one other person, the person who disseminated the image has committed a Class A misdemeanor, meaning that a conviction in criminal court could leave them facing maximum penalties of up to one year in jail and $2,000 in fines. However, if someone unlawfully disseminates an intimate image to more than one person over the internet, through a text message, or via any other communication or information service, the offense becomes a Class D felony carrying a maximum five-year prison term and a maximum of $5,000 in fines in the event of a conviction.
Violations of C.G.S. § 53a-122 are prosecuted even more harshly, as Larceny by Extortion is always considered a Class B felony—and importantly, since Larceny by Extortion is always Larceny in the First Degree no matter what, the amount of money or value of property allegedly taken has no bearing on the criminal classification of the offense. Even a first-time offender convicted of this form of “sextortion” in Westport may face up to 20 years of prison time plus $15,000 in maximum fines, although there may still be a lot a skilled attorney can do to effectively contest allegations of this nature and potentially reduce applicable penalties.
Get in Touch With a Westport Sextortion Attorney Today
The term “sextortion” may not appear anywhere in the Connecticut Penal Code, but that does not mean police officers and court authorities do not know exactly what this offense is, or that they will not prosecute offenders harshly. Fortunately, you have help available from an experienced Westport sextortion lawyer from the Law Offices of Mark Sherman who can fight tirelessly to enforce your rights and secure the best result possible from your unique case. Call today to learn more, and click here to read what some of our past clients have said about working with us.