From: The Honorable Katherine M. Clark
Sent By:
steve.thornton@mail.house.gov

Date: 5/11/2016

Become an Original Cosponsor of the Interstate Sextortion Prevention Act
Dear Colleague,
Please join me in becoming an original cosponsor of the Interstate Sextortion Prevention Act of 2016. This bill is a targeted effort to address the use of extortion to coerce the production of sexually explicit images or videos, otherwise known as ‘sextortion.’
The perpetrators of this vile act often hack into a computer or phone to find intimate images, or they convince young victims to share nude photos. Once intimate images are obtained the attacker uses the threat of publication to extort money or coerce victims to engage in sexually explicit conduct.
In a report released in April, the Department of Justice declared that  “sextortion is by far the most significantly growing threat to children.” According to the report, more than 60 percent of investigators, prosecutors, analysts, and victim service providers surveyed indicated that this type of online enticement of minors was increasing.
From self-mutilation to suicide, the effects of sextortion can be devastating. According to a 2015 FBI analysis of 43 sextortion cases involving child victims, at least two victims committed suicide and at least 10 more attempted suicide. Yet, federal extortion law does not recognize the seriousness of this offense and not all sextortion cases fall under sexual exploitation law.
Today, the Brookings Institution released a report examining this gap in federal criminal law and outlining the steps Congress should take to close this gap. The Interstate Sextortion Prevention Act is modeled on these suggestions and will make it clear that the use of the interstate telecommunication system to extort sexually explicit conduct is a federal crime.
If you have any questions or would like to become an original cosponsor of the Interstate Sextortion Prevention Act, please contact Steve Thornton (5-2836) at steve.thornton@mail.house.gov.
Sincerely,
Katherine Clark
Member of Congress