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I'm an international student currently studying in Toronto…

Customer Question
Hi, I'm an international...

Hi, I'm an international student currently studying in Toronto under a study permit, I have a situation going on that involves the internet and the distribution of my sexually explicit photos

Lawyer's Assistant: What state are you in? It matters because laws vary by location.

I'm in Toronto Ontario

Lawyer's Assistant: Has anything been filed or reported?

No

Submitted: 1 month ago.Category: Canada Law
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Answered in 4 minutes by:
3/8/2018
Lawyer: Zoey_JD,
 replied 1 month ago
Zoey_JD
Category: Canada Law
Satisfied Customers: 30,085
Verified

Hi,

I'm Zoey.

I've reviewed your post. Please be patient as I may need to research for you, and it also takes time to compose and type a reply.

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Lawyer: Zoey_JD,
 replied 1 month ago

People who ask a question like yours, and we get several of them every day, typically have answered some backpage ad or had been chatting with someone on the web. The conversation got explicit and they coaxed into exchanging photos or videos. Then they get blackmailed with them. Pay money or they will publish the video. I'm betting that this is what happened to you as well.

If so, I know you're probably terrified, but you have nothing to worry about. You're the victim of a scam.

The scam is so popular that it has brought a new word into the language -- sextortion, short for sexual extortion -- and if you Google "sextortion scam" you'll get an idea of how popular this fraud is.

Unscrupulous people hang out in chatrooms and other sites where couples can connect for sexual encounters and chat. They entrap you into exchanging photos or videos, and then they turn around and threaten to publish the videos to your friends and family if you don't pay them money.

DO NOT PAY THEM A CENT!

You should never give into a blackmailer. THey NEVER strike just once and if you pay her once, she'll be asking you for more money and more money and more money and more money. And you'll never get past your fear of her.

On the other hand, if you block her, ignore all of her contact and requests and send her nothing, there is nothing she is really going to do. Her only real power is in her threats. She gets absolutely nothing from exposing you.

Believe it or not, nothing she can do to you is worse than what you can do to yourself if you pay her.

As many times as we get stories like yours, we have NEVER seen the blackmailer follow through with the exposure. That's because she gets NOTHING she wants out of exposing you. All she really wants is money. If you don't pay her, she'll move on to try to blackmail someone else.

Do not pay her. Block her. Don't read or believe her threats. She's only trying to intimidate you to steal your money. The odds are that if you ignore her, she'll do absolutely nothing. If, on the other hand, you pay her and then keep paying her, the odds are 100% that she will keep threatening and asking for more money for the rest of your life until you stop.

If this is not your situation, and this person threatening you is someone you actually know, reply and let me know.

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Customer reply replied 1 month ago
Well, the situation is not exactly the same because I personally know the guy who is threatening me. A few months ago back in my home country (Kuwait) I was threatened by a man with explicit photos of me that he happened to screenshot without my consent. He threatened to ruin my life and my reputation by sending the photos to all of my family and friends. He used multiple accounts on Instagram to provoke me, and said in return for him to not leak my photos I would have to sexually please him any time he wants. He lives in Jordan and is from Saudi Arabia, and in both countries what he has done is considered a child pornography crime (as I was under 21 when this all happened) and can result in a serious punishment such as the death sentence. I threatened to take legal action against him and made him back off, but I could not even have done so if I wanted to because in Kuwait my parents would get involved and they would be ashamed of me for my sexual behavior. Now I'm studying in Toronto, and the man has used a fake account to message me out of nowhere and send the explicit screenshots to me. I quickly deactivated my Instagram account. I did some research and saw that such use of explicit photos is a criminal offense here. Is there any way I can take legal action against him and not have my parents nor the Kuwaiti government involved? I'm 19 and I know that is the legal adult age here. I do not want to take action for the sake of earning money, but if those pictures were to reach anyone from back home my life would basically be ruined, and I am afraid he will use those pictures against me in some type of way. I still have screenshots of the threats he made months ago, and I know if I contact Instagram and ask them to retrieve the username of the fake account that he used to message me recently they may provide the information.
Lawyer: Zoey_JD,
 replied 1 month ago

Thank you. This needs a Canadian legal expert rather than a Fraud Examiner. I will opt out and have the moderators move it to Canada where a Canadian lawyer can discuss the possibility of suit with you.

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Lawyer: CaptanLaw, Lawyer replied 1 month ago
CaptanLaw
CaptanLaw, Lawyer
Category: Canada Law
Satisfied Customers: 263
Experience: I'm a criminal defence lawyer, who assists individuals charged with crimes.
Verified

Hello

Sorry to hear about the situation.

You are certainly correct that it is a criminal offence in Canada to distribute / publish an intimate image without the other person's consent:

"162.1 (1) Everyone who knowingly publishes, distributes, transmits, sells, makes available or advertises an intimate image of a person knowing that the person depicted in the image did not give their consent to that conduct, or being reckless as to whether or not that person gave their consent to that conduct, is guilty (a) of an indictable offence and liable to imprisonment for a term of not more than five years; or (b) of an offence punishable on summary conviction."

The legislation this falls under is the Criminal Code of Canada, which is federal criminal law legislation that applies Canada wide (to each province and territory). The police can only prosecute offences that take place within this jurisdiction. For example, if this person traveled to Canada and uploaded the images online or transferred them to another person without your consent, this could be something for which he could be arrested. The police, however, cannot prosecute him if he does it from abroad. He would be subject to the laws of the host country, not Canada.

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Customer reply replied 1 month ago
Is there any way I can file for some sort of restraining order against him? I just want him to be unable to contact me whatsoever, no messages or anything. Does he have to commit a crime here for the restraining order against him to go through?
Customer reply replied 1 month ago
Also, in his country what he did was pretty much a child pornography offense. Am I not able to go against him from here but in the name of the laws in his country (Jordan)? And would I not be able to do this without the involvement of my country’s government (Kuwait) and legal system?
Lawyer: CaptanLaw, Lawyer replied 1 month ago

To answer your second question, with respect to criminal law remedies, no you cannot go after him here unfortunately. Again, the police do not have the jurisdiction to provide warnings, cautions or lay charges for acts that took place outside Canadian borders. If you feel you want to still give it a try, you can certainly reach out the the police here in Toronto, and see what they say.

To answer your first question, there is really no such thing as a restraining order in criminal law. A restraining order is a civil, not criminal remedy. You can contact a civil lawyer regarding that question, but I doubt there will be any remedy you can seek where the other party resides and is acting from a foreign jurisdiction.

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Category: Canada Law
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