Q: I have someone on the Gay Dating app Grindr who is threatening to expose me with pictures and text unless I pay them
$500, which was increased to $1000 when I said I couldn’t. They apparently followed me yesterday and saw the apt I live in. Now they are threatening to expose me to my family.
A: Hello. We are terribly sorry to hear about this. No one should be afraid of such exposure by such types of people, merely for being who they are. This is repugnant and despicable.
You have several causes of action both criminal and civil.
South Carolina has no Revenge Porn Laws; the legislature likely has too many compromising pictures on one another in opposition fillies to make this worthwhile for the common man, and here there is no relationship which would make this applicable under the law. However, we have ample laws against extortion and stalking. Unfortunately the legislature also failed to pass the Hate Crimes Act Enhancement Statute, which would have allowed these sentences to be enhanced if the perpetrators are caught and convicted.
In South Carolina Extortion falls under our Blackmail statute, of which one is guilty if they attempt to, or do, extort money from someone for their personal actions or business, for any amount of money. It carries up to ten (10) years in the Dept. of Corrections.
The perpetrator/s here became guilty of stalking when they followed you to your home, and put you in fear of their further actions. It carries up to five (5) years.
You need to contact your local sheriff’s department or SLED to report the crime and begin the legal process. They will need as much information as possible to start the process. You can request protection of your information from the public record through sealed affidavits in support of the arrest warrant, sealed hearings closed to the general public, gag orders on the attorneys, etc. For warrants and whatnot, these are not often granted, but if you are closeted, it certainly is worth the effort to try until you are ready to have this information be known publicly.
Both of these also entitle you to restraining orders under South Carolina Law. These hearings too can be sealed and closed, which are more often granted given the nature of the proceedings depending upon which court they are filed within.
You are a victim here. If my office may help guide you in the right direction, please don’t hesitate to call us.
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