November 4, 2022

The Today Show: What is sextortion? One mom is warning parents after son’s death

Braden Markus, 15, had what his mother said was an "amazing weekend of football" on Saturday, Oct. 21, 2021. To celebrate, the Ohio teen ordered his favorite food, then "spent the rest of the night doing homework, playing Xbox with his cousins and sleeping," his mom wrote in a Facebook post.

"Typical life of a teenager," Jennifer Argiro-Markus, Braden's mom, added.

Less than 24 hours later, Braden died by suicide. His family believes he was a victim of cyber "sextortion." Local authorities have opened a criminal investigation into the case...

"Sextortion is a term that is being used in recent years to describe a type of extortion in which a predator will use a sexually explicit image or video of another person in order to either engage with them in a sexual or exploitive relationship online or offline, or to exploit money from their victims," Donna Hughes, president and CEO of Enough is Enough, a non-profit organization dedicated to preventing the internet-enabled exploitation of children, told TODAY....


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