[2017] 143 WCB (2d) 618 (NFPC)

In [2017] 143 WCB (2d) 618 (NFPC), Mr. H, a 22-year-old man, threatened to post sexual images of his ex-girlfriend unless she told their friends that they had not separated. He sent Ms. X text messages threatening suicide and to post the images unless she acquiesced, which she did due to the threats. Commenting on the challenges with extortion in the digital age, the court stated:

The present day access to social media cites has dramatically changed the potential impact of extortion. For instance, a present day threat to release intimate photographs through social media cites allows for the sharing and dissemination of such photographs on a worldwide basis. This technology also makes it impossible for the victim to limit circulation or to retrieve the photographs. This modern day form of extortion is much different and more serious than older forms of extortion. The sentencing for such offences must reflect the changes in the sharing of information and the impact upon victims. General deterrence and denunciation must be the primary principles of sentencing applied.[1]

He was sentenced to 9 months’ incarceration, 2 years’ probation, a no contact, prohibition from commenting about her on social media, order to attend counselling, pay $200 victim surcharge, and provide a DNA sample.

[1] Para 8.


Criminal Offence(s): Extortion