I am a Victim of Extortion, Blackmail, Revenge Porn and Harassment: Important Steps to Protect Yourself

How do I stop an ex from humiliating me with Revenge Porn or “”Sextortion” by sending intimate images to my co-workers and family? What steps can I take to stop a person from Blackmailing me? I am being harassed and extorted by a former business associate. Should I report the Extortion to the police or are there other methods to stop my victimization? All reasonable questions, even if the answers are not always easy, know that there are numerous actions that you can take regardless of whether you engage a Blackmail defense lawyer or Revenge Porn attorney. In short, while not a complete list of questions and answers, securing formidable evidence and allowing your abuser to “hang” him or herself is invaluable to cease your Extortion, Coercion, or other harassment no matter if you pursue protection with the assistance of the police or retain private legal counsel. In fact, taking the proper steps to preserve evidence as early as possible will provide you with the strongest foundation no matter if you fight back through the New York City or New York State criminal justice system, with a law suit in the civil courts, petitioning the New York Family Court for an Order of Protection, or by means of a case and desist letter along with a non-disclosure agreement.

Should I Block my Blackmailer from Texting, Emailing or Communicating with Me on Social Media?

As painful and emotionally hurtful as your abuser’s conduct may be, and it no doubt is, Crotty Saland PC’s New York Revenge Porn, Blackmail and Extortion lawyers generally advise clients not to block their victimizers. Why? Not only can the magnitude of unsolicited communications be criminal, see Aggravated Harassment in the Second Degree, New York Penal Law 240.30, but unwanted, threatening and related communications can establish the course of conduct element of other crimes including varying degrees of Stalking. Simply, if you block your harasser, you potentially lose countless messages from him or her while also your ability to connect this person to other phone numbers, texts, emails, etc. Remember, if you’re going to fight back from a position of power, the more concrete evidence in your possession, the better off you will be.

I am Nauseated by the Pictures, Images and Messages. Should I Delete Them?

Far too often, victims of Revenge Porn, “Sextortion,” Blackmail, Coercion, Aggravated Harassment, Stalking and other crimes delete the very evidence that is pivotal to the success of a prosecution, cease and desist, civil action or Restraining Order. Certainly, your recollection of events is valuable and may be enough to hold your harasser accountable, but there is no substitute for the actual communications. While you may want to remove the image from social media, make sure to take a screen shot of the image, recording or text. This screenshot should also preserve the date, time and sender of the offending material. Again, you may not want to keep vengeful emails, texts or photographs on your iPhone, but before deleting the same, remember that this is the evidence that you will need in the future. At a minimum, backup the data in the generically termed “cloud” or on a hard drive.

Do I Need a Lawyer or Attorney to Put and End to the Revenge Porn, Extortion, Blackmail or Stalking?

“Need” and “Should” are two different words. If you decide to report your victimization to the NYPD or other police department from the Westchester County Police to the New York State Police, know that should your case warrant criminal investigation, these law enforcement officers will take the necessary steps to establish probably cause for an arrest. If they ultimately meet the probable cause threshold, then an arrest and prosecution by a local District Attorney should follow.

All of the above said, law enforcement does not work for you specifically. Instead, the District Attorney and the police collectively serve the People of the State of New York. Retaining counsel, however, is quite different. Your Extortion lawyer serves you and is not merely looking to secure enough evidence for an arrest. At Crotty Saland PC, our Blackmail victim advocates won’t bog themselves down in too many matters that prevents us from keeping you and your case a priority. There are no short cuts. Simply, building a case through your own attorney can provide you with the evidence necessary not merely to reach the legal level of probable cause, but to enable you to pursue other recourse from the criminal and civil courts to the Family Court and non-disclosure agreements. Equally important, even if it is infrequent, due to the attorney-client privilege, there is no chance that your personal matter will be “leaked” to the public or press as it does at times with with the NYPD or other police agencies.

The above factors aside, hiring an Extortion advocate and Revenge Porn attorney allows you to remain in control while your counsel, along with investigators who served as former NYPD detectives, take the same investigative steps – controlled calls, arming you with a wire to record conversations, surveillance – to develop your strongest case. Armed with the evidence you, not any other person, can decide whether you want to resolve your victimization in a legal manner outside a court of law, within the criminal justice system, with the help of the Family Court, with a lawsuit, or a combination of any of these options.

Whether you find yourself of a victim of Stalking, Extortion, or any other harassment, know you can put an end to your abuse. Be as proactive as you can while seizing the power from your victimizer before the duress and aggression destroys your home, professional and personal life.

Crotty Saland PC is a New York criminal law and victim advocate firm. The former Manhattan prosecutors and criminal attorneys at Crotty Saland PC represent both defendants accused and victims of Blackmail, Aggravated Harassment, Extortion, Coercion,  Revenge Porn, Stalking and related offenses in New York City, the Hudson Valley and selectively elsewhere throughout the State of New York.

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