Aussie teen charged with ‘sextortion’

A teenager has been arrested after allegedly trying to sextort and blackmail a 16-year-old girl and five others with intimate photos. Picture: NCA NewsWire / Gaye Gerard

A teenage boy has been charged with trying to blackmail a young girl and five others with intimate photos in NSW.

Officers began to investigate the 17-year-old after they were informed about the alleged sextortion and blackmail attempt of a 16-year-old girl in Ryde.

At 9.30pm on the same day the investigation was opened, officers arrested the teenager in Wollongong.

He was charged with blackmail, threatening to distribute an intimate image and using a carriage service for child abuse material.

The 17-year-old was initially charged over alleged offences towards a 16-year-old girl; however, police have identified five other victims they believe he targeted. Picture: NCA NewsWire / Gaye Gerard

The boy was granted conditional bail to appear before a children’s court in January; however. after further investigation, police arrested him again in Gwynneville in Wollongong on November 22.

“He was taken to Wollongong Police Station where he was charged with use carriage service to solicit child abuse material, aggravated offence re private sexual material using carriage service, and demand with menaces with the intention to obtain a gain or cause a loss,” a NSW Police spokesperson said.

“Police will allege in court the boy was talking to at least five further victims in an attempt to sextort them.”

After the teenager’s second arrest, he was refused bail before a children’s court on November 23 to appear in court on Tuesday.

Sextortion is a global trend but has been on the rise in Australia recently, according to cybercrime squad commander Detective Superintendent Matthew Craft.

“Sextortion is where offenders target predominantly teenage boys online and request sexual images, before threatening to share them publicly unless the victim pay up,” he said.

“While it’s a scary and sometimes embarrassing predicament to find yourself in, we want victims to know there are options available to them and police have powers to take action against alleged offenders.

“Anyone can become a target of sextortion, and it is never the victim’s fault. But there are steps everyone can take; for example, not sending any images to anyone online that you wouldn’t proudly display on a public noticeboard yourself.”