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Zoey_ JD
Zoey_ JD, JustAnswer Criminal Law Mentor
Category: Criminal Law
Satisfied Customers: 23206
Experience:  Admitted to NYS Criminal defense bar in 1989. Extensive arraignment, hearing, trial experience.
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I was recently talking to a girl online her profile said 18

Customer Question

I was recently talking to a girl online her profile said 18 have evidence, we texted and I sent her nudes then she sent me nudes. After she told me that she was 16, I immediately deleted the pictures. And stop communication as she begged me not too! Her father calls a couple days later and says he's going to the police should I be worried?
Submitted: 6 months ago.
Category: Criminal Law
Expert:  Zoey_ JD replied 6 months ago.
Hello, No you shouldn't be worried about this at all. I can tell you that we get a question just like yours several times every day. This is a scam and it's so popular it even has a name. That name is "sextortion," and it is a criminal offense. You have been deliberately set up to chat with someone who could then turn the tables on you and blackmail you. Unscrupulous people hover around on chat rooms and dating sites, and they lure in their victims by assuring them that they are of age but then engaging them in sexual chat and/or pictures. Then, all of a a sudden, the girl tells the unsuspecting victim that she is still a minor. Then, at some point later you get a phone call from a supposedly angry authority figure. But what that so called authority figure wants is money or he claims he'll prosecute. That's blackmail, of course, and one should never give into that. So you did the right thing by deleting the photos. Now, you need to block all contact with the so-called minor and her so called father and send no money. Neither of them are really who and what they say they are. You are dealing with thieves. You should never give in to an extortion request. If you pay them, you'll have to keep paying them for the rest of your life. They only have power over them if you give in to them. In these scams there really isn't any minor at all. It's all just a way to intimidate you to get money. If you simply disappear, the scammers go away and move on to someone else, because it's not about reporting you but only about money. They can't really report it without producing a minor and swearing out a complaint with the police, which means identifying themselves and leaving them open to a blackmail charge. Scammers don't do that. As many times as we get a question like yours, we have yet to hear of a so-called father who actually pressed charges. After all, the minor would be guilty of a crime as well, if she were real, and she entrapped you. So, to recap -- the chances are very high that there's no real minor here, no real father, and nobody who would dare go to the police. Block their contact. You should also cancel your membership on the site where you met her. The odds are high that nothing at all will happen except that they will move on and try to set someone else up for extortion. I cannot guarantee you that you have nothing to be concerned about, however, only that I have never seen the sextortionist follow through. So in the event that you hear from someone who claims to be a police officer, or if the minor or her father try to reach you some other way, say NOTHING about this incident to the police except that you do not wish to discuss anything until you can reach your lawyer. That's your right and the authorities are required to honor that and can't hold that against you. Then you can go out and look for a local criminal lawyer. But I'm quite convinced it will never come to that.
Customer: replied 6 months ago.
But my question here is if the police are involved can I be charged with anything?
Expert:  Zoey_ JD replied 6 months ago.
Actually, your question was "Should I be worried about this." And my answer stands. "No, it is a scam." But with regard to your follow up, this is not how the police work a sting. This was entrapment, where you had every reason to believe the so-called minor was 18 and when you found out she was not you deleted the photos. When the police run a sting operation looking for pedophiles, they tell you they are underaged from the beginning. That's because to convict you the state must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that you intended to send sexually explicit photos to a minor. Here, you had no such intention. If they did report it to the police, yes you can be charged with sending nude photos to a minor. BUT you would have an entrapment defense and if a jury believed that defense you couldn't be convicted. But again, you won't have to worry about that because you are the victim of a very popular blackmail scam.

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