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STREETSBORO, Ohio (WJW) — The FOX 8 I-Team has learned Streetsboro police are investigating another case of alleged sextortion involving a teenager.
Police and school officials said another case was reported to police over the weekend.
Streetsboro Police Chief Tricia Wain and Streetsboro Schools Superintendent Mike Daulbaugh said the victim did the right thing by coming forward and filing a report.
“It is happening at epidemic proportions across the country, but our kids are talking to their parents, guardians or a trusted adult,” the chief said.
She said it’s important to make the report quickly to save any digital evidence.
The police and school district released the following statement:
This ongoing attack on our children has become too frequent, and as parents and adults it is critical that we continue to educate our children regarding sextortion and other dangers social media presents. Sextortion, as well as other crimes targeting our youth, happen to children and young adults of all ages and gender. These crimes are becoming more frequent and while we cannot prevent them from happening, we can educate our children and make these uncomfortable topics a regular part of your family’s dialogue.
If your child is a victim of sextortion or any other crime please contact your local law enforcement to make the report as soon as possible. The only way we are going to fight this crisis is to be vigilant in reporting these crimes and educating our children about the dark side of social media.
On May 10th at Streetsboro High School, Streetsboro City Schools will be hosting a Mental Health and Safety Forum for all parents in the district. The tentative time is 6-8:30pm. The featured speakers for the evening will be the parents of James Woods as well as a speaker from the Internet Crimes Against Children.
In the latest case, the victim was a student in the school district and the suspects were using “high pressure tactics“ for additional pictures to prevent the release of the initial picture, the chief said.
Earlier this month, police released to the I-Team a picture of a suspect in one of the cases.
The chief said in all the cases, the suspect convinces the victim to send sexually explicit photographs and then immediately starts demanding money.
FBI officials say thousands of teenagers nationwide were victims of this online crime in 2022. Officials say there were more than a dozen suicides nationally linked to sextortion, including the tragic death of Streetsboro teen James Woods.