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Sexual Extortion

Defense Attorney

SEXUAL ABUSE (ARS 13 1404)
Feldman & Royle, Attorneys at Law

Sexual Extortion

Sexual extortion can take many forms under Arizona Law. Generally, however, sexual extortion is charged when an individual threatens or coerces another person in an effort to obtain a sexual benefit. For example, an individual may threaten to reveal sexually explicit photos of a victim if they do not comply with their requests for property or services. The main component of this crime involves the defendant knowingly and intending to threaten an individual with exploiting sexual photos, videos or digital recordings if they do not comply with their requests.

What is Sexual Extortion?

Under ARS § 13-1428, Sexual extortion occurs when an individual knowingly threatens another individual in order to coerce them to complete any of the following actions:

Sexual extortion occurs when the following threats are made:

Damaging the physical property, or causing physical harm, to another individual
Damaging the reputation of the individual
Releasing sexually charged or exposed videos or photos of the victim, including sexual intercourse or exhibition of sexual parts (genitals, breasts, anus)

Sexual extortion most commonly occurs, against minors, when an individual poses as someone else (often of a younger age) online in an attempt to gain the minor’s trust and coerce them into sending sexually explicit photos of themselves. Sometimes, the defendant publishes these photos online without the victim’s permission, which is considered distribution of child pornography and can carry additional consequences.

Sexual Extortion Sentence

In the state of Arizona, sexual extortion is viewed as a very serious crime and does not have a chance of being charged as a misdemeanor as a regular extortion charge could be.   Sexual extortion is considered a Class 3 felony, unless the victim is under 15 years of age. Then, the penalties for the crime become inflated, as it is covered under the Dangerous Crimes Against Children statute, and becomes a Class 2 felony.   For a Class 3 felony in the state of Arizona, the presumptive prison sentence is 3.5 years. However, if certain aggravating factors are present, such as excessive force or incest, the penalties may significantly increase. An aggravated prison term for a Class 3 felony is 8 years and 9 months.   For a Class 2 felony in the state of Arizona, the presumptive prison sentence is 5 years. However, aggravated factors may increase the prison sentence to 15 years. Additional penalties for both of these charges can include fines up to $10,000 and potential restitution paid to the victim. In cases of child sexual extortion, these penalties may significantly increase, depending on the circumstances of the case.

Defenses to Sexual Extortion

One of the most important components of prosecuting a sexual extortion crime is proving that the defendant knowingly and intentionally threatened sexual exploitation if certain needs were not met. The defense has room to prove that the defendant did not knowingly or intentionally sexually coerce the victim, or that the defendant is mentally incapacitated to the point that they would not be aware of their wrongdoing.   Please contact our office for further explanation of potential defenses to sexual extortion in Arizona.

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Theft by Extortion

Similar in nature, theft by extortion occurs when a person attempts to extort another person with threatens of violence or damage to property rather than by sexual means.

Arizona Sexual Extortion Attorneys

At Feldman & Royle, we understand that there are a number of circumstances that can impact sexual extortion cases. We examine every last detail of your case in order to give you the best fighting chance in court, especially against a crime as serious as sexual extortion. Please contact our office for a free initial consultation to further explain the circumstances of your case and see how we can help you with the best possible defense.
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