New Jersey lawmakers have taken a step towards making sextortion a criminal offense in the state. The bill, which passed unanimously last week in the Senate, would make sextortion a third-degree crime, with a possible sentence of up to five years in prison and a $15,000 fine, Dana Defilippo reports for the Pennsylvania Capital-Star.
If the victim is a minor or has developmental disabilities, the offense would be considered a second-degree crime, with a possible sentence of up to 10 years in prison and a $150,000 fine. The bill is a response to a growing number of sextortion cases across the country targeting both adults and teenagers, according to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children and the FBI. If the bill is signed into law, New Jersey will become the 18th state in the U.S. to formally ban sextortion.