Lexington County teen charged under new ‘Gavin’s Law’

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Published: Sep. 29, 2023 at 5:50 PM EDT
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LEXINGTON COUNTY, S.C. (WIS) - Lexington County deputies charged a 14-year-old boy from Chapin under a new law passed this year to combat sexual extortion, the sheriff’s office said.

Officials said this is the first time deputies have brought forth a charge under “Gavin’s Law.”

According to the Lexington County Sheriff’s Department (LCSD), the boy was charged with sexual extortion “for his role in threatening to release doctored nude images associated with a female classmate.”

Lexington County Sheriff Jay Koon said interviews with students revealed someone took the face of the girl and digitally edited other images to make it look like it was her.

“We worked with school district officials to get to the bottom of this and determined a charge of sexual extortion against one student was warranted because he threatened to public share the images,” Koon said.

Because of the boy’s age, his name will not be released. LCSD said he was released to his parents and will appear in in Lexington County Family Court at a later date.

“With today’s technology, it’s all too easy to prey on innocent people,” Koon said. “Those who try this should know ‘Gavin’s Law’ is a tool for us to charge anyone who intimidates or blackmails another person with explicit images, whether real or fake.”

Koon advised teens and adults to report suspicious or harmful content, activity or accounts on social media apps if they feel unsafe.

“Gavin’s Law” is named after 17-year-old Gavin Guffey, who took his own life after he experienced sexual extortion.

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