The bipartisan measure passed both chambers unanimously and went into effect immediately with Gov. Phil Murphy’s signing. (Edwin J. Torres/NJ Governor’s Office).
Anyone attempting to extort sexual favors using explicit material will face new criminal penalties under a bill Gov. Phil Murphy signed into law Monday.
The measure criminalizes sexual extortion, which often sees assailants threatening to release intimate photographs or videos to coerce others into performing sexual acts, though it takes other forms as well.
“In this digital age, the protections we have in place to safeguard our residents must expand to address threats that arise online,” Murphy said in a statement.
Those who violate the law face up to 5 years imprisonment and fines of up to $15,000. Those penalties rise to 10 years in jail and fines as high as $150,000 if the offense involves a minor or an adult with a developmental disability.
The FBI and other federal authorities in January warned sextortion is on the rise, affecting at least 3,000 minors last year.
“Victims of sexual extortion deserve to know they are not alone and justice will be served in New Jersey,” said Assemblywoman Aura Dunn (R-Morris), the bill’s prime Assembly sponsor.
The bipartisan measure passed both chambers unanimously and went into effect immediately with Murphy’s signing.
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