DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) — The death of a 17-year-old Cleveland teenager who took his own life after becoming a victim of sextortion online has pushed Lieutenant Governor Jon Husted, along with the victim’s parents, to introduce the Social Media Parental Notification Act.

Streetsboro High School Senior James Woods took his own life in 2022 because he was the victim of sextortion. Sextortion is as a crime that occurs when someone threatens to distribute your private and sensitive material if you don’t provide them with money or other favors.

“We lost our only child to a predator to who only wanted money,” Tim Woods, the father of James, said.

“These evil people want you to be embarrassed. They want you to be ashamed and want you to hide and not tell the story,” Tamia Woods, the mother of James, added.

The Social Media Parental Notification Act would require social media and gaming companies to determine if a child is under 16.

Companies then must get verifiable parental consent to terms of service before kids can use their platform and send written confirmation of the consent to parents.

Lieutenant Governor Husted acknowledges enforcement of his proposed act would come with challenges but says it’s a step in the right direction.