(QUEEN CREEK, AZ) - Nearly 200 people attended a community screening of the independent film 'Sextortion: The Hidden Pandemic,' which details the rising threat to our kids and the numerous ways predators target their victims.
The Pinal County Attorney's Office partnered with the Queen Creek Police Department to organize the event, which took place on Saturday, September 17th at the Queen Creek Performing Arts Center. Filmmaker Stephen Peek from Auroris Media also attended the event and took part in the panel discussion afterwards. The panel included filmmaker Stephen Peek, County Attorney Kent Volkmer, Queen Creek Police Chief Randy Brice, one of QCPD's detectives and a representative from Homeland Security.
'Sextortion: The Hidden Pandemic' details the rising instances of 'Sextortion,' where predators use fake profiles to lure unsuspecting kids into online conversations and coerce them to send explicit photos of themselves. Once that is done, the predator demands more explicit content and/or money and threatens to release the photos publicly if the victim does not comply. The documentary features a real case where the suspect turned out to be a pilot in the Navy.
According to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, the number of reports involving sextortion more than doubled between 2019 and 2021.
A special thank you to the Queen Creek Performing Arts Center which hosted the event. PCAO hopes the families who attended learned more about 'sextortion' and how kids and teens are targeted by predators. Prevention - which includes regular conversations with friends and family - is the best way to prevent youth from becoming a victim.