On Thursday, October 12, 2023, Prince George RCMP attended a local residence in response to a 12-year-old youth suffering from a gunshot wound. The investigation revealed that the youth took his own life in response to online sextortion.
“We are calling for parents and caregivers to be honest with their youth about the dangers of online activity, especially if they are engaging in chats with people they don’t know in real life,” said Cpl. Jennifer Cooper, Media Relations Officer for the Prince George RCMP. “While not every case of online sex-tortion will end in tragedy, the consequences of this kind of activity can follow a youth for their entire life, which needs to be something we talk about openly with our kids.”
Reports of sextortion, the practice of extorting money or sexual favorus from someone by threatening to reveal evidence of their online sexual activity, rise every year in Prince George. Sex-tortion is most prevalent in youth between the ages of 13 and 18. Thus far in 2023, Prince George RCMP has received 62 reports of online sextortion, already surpassing the 56 reports received in 2022.
If you are the victim of sex-tortion, it is important that you stop all communication immediately with that person and do not give in to their demands. Deactivate the accounts that you are using to communicate with that person and, most importantly, reach out for help and report it. Call your local police and contact NeedHelpNow.ca and Cybertip.ca for support.
This investigation is ongoing as police officers continue their efforts to identify a suspect.