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Rights and Remedies For Sex Tape Victims

Right and Remedies For Sex Tape Victims

The offense of Sexual Blackmail, Sextortion and Revenge Porn: The Rights and Remedies of the Victims. By Barr. Stanley Alieke. 

Rights and Remedies For Sex Tape Victims.

A quick story: A lady contacted me last month seeking for legal help and professional advise on what she should do; her ex boyfriend whom she used to send her nude pictures and videos to while they were dating started to extort money from her and always threaten to blackmail her with those pictures and videos if she ever try to refuse to send him the money he requested. This has been going on for a long time and the ex keeps coming up with requests with the threat of releasing her nudes if she ever refuses to grant him his requests.

This kind of scenario falls into the Blackmail, Revenge porn and Sextortion category of the crime of sexual exploitation:

Blackmail is an act of coercion using the threat of revealing or publicizing either substantially true or false information about a person or people unless certain demands are met. In many jurisdictions of the world, including Nigeria, blackmail is a statutory criminal offense, carrying punitive sanctions of jail term for the perpetrators.

Also, Revenge porn is the illegal distribution of sexually explicit images or videos of individuals without their consent. Though the videos or images may have been made or taken with the knowledge and consent of the partner, it’s distribution without the consent of the partner is illegal and criminal.

At the other hand, Sextortion is a special crime that occurs when someone threatens to distribute your nudes and private videos if you don’t grant him/her sexual favors, or pay him/her some money. The name was coined out to suit the act and it has long been a crime most criminal justice systems of the world are beginning to pay much attention to. It is a special category of sexual exploitation in which victims are threatened that their private pictures and videos will be released to the public if the victim fails to meet the demand of the blackmailer; the demand which is usually payment of some amount of money.

The sad news is, blackmailers and sextortionist are a greedy set of people, they never stop. They always keep coming back with requests upon requests with the same threat of releasing their victims’ private contents if their demands are not met.

But the good news is that there’s a way out of their hook…

It will be my pleasure to arm you with some laws in this regard as to what the laws say about the crime and punishment of the offense of sextortion, revenge porn and sexual blackmail and educate you on your rights and remedies if you ever fall into the trap of blackmailers and sextortionists and how to (legally) get off their hook.

The provisions of the Criminal code act at chapter 33, specifically from s.373 to s.376 provides for punishment of 1-2 years for the offense of defamation while sextortion or publication of defamatory matter with the intent to extort the victim carries a punishment of up to 7 years imprisonment term.

S.376 of the Criminal Code Act provides thus;

Any person who publishes, or threatens to publish, or offers to abstain from publishing, or offers to prevent the publication of defamatory matter, with intent to extort money or other property, or with intent to induce any person to give, confer, procure, or attempt to procure, to, upon, or for, any person, any property or benefit of any kind, is guilty of a felony and is liable to imprisonment for seven years.

Similarly, S.23 (2) Cybercrime Act, 2015 in synchrony with the above provisions of the criminal code provides as follows:

Any person who knowingly makes or sends other pornographic images to another computer by way of unsolicited distribution shall be guilty of an offence and upon conviction shall be sentenced to One year imprisonment or a fine of Two Hundred and Fifty Thousand Naira or both. Also, S. 24. Of the Cybercrime Act further provides;

Any person who knowingly or intentionally sends a message or other matter by means of computer systems or network that –

(a) is grossly offensive, pornographic or of an indecent, obscene or menacing character or causes any such message or matter to be so sent; or

(b)…commits an offence under this Act and shall be liable on conviction to a fine of not more than N7,000,000.00 or imprisonment for a term of not more than 3 years or to both such fine and imprisonment.

Mind you that these statutory provisions are not just some statues in retrospect; it is organic and it has been tested in courts. The most recent case of sextortion and sexual blackmails is the case where a boy in his 20s got hold of the private pictures and videos of a public figure in IMO state, he kept using those pictures of the man to taunt him and to force money out of him. The man got tired of succumbing to the blackmails, and decided to report to the police. The boy was tracked down and arrested. He was charged to the Magistrate court and the court sentenced him to 1 year imprisonment in line with the provisions of s.373 to s.376 of the Criminal code Act and sections 23 & 24 of the cybercrime act 2015 both applicable in Imo state, Nigeria. (You can find this case on suit number: MCI/2C/2012).

The act of sextortion and revenge porn is not just a civil wrong, it is criminalized and the blackmailers risks a jail term of 1-7 years and when it involves an infant or a person who is under age, the punishment is more stiffer as the offender risks getting jailed for a term of 5- 10 years or N10-N20 million naira fine or even both the prison terms and the fine as it was clearly provided S.23 of the cyber crime act, 2015.

The most important thing to take home from this is: never you succumb to a sextortionist or a blackmailer, they’d never stop threatening and extorting you once you have given in at first, the best thing you should do (if you are caught in their trap) is to report to the police or go to a lawyer.


Stanley Alieke, Esq.

Lead Counsel; STAC law.




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