Snapchat Sex Extortion Case Occurs at Ohio University, Shocking No One
Let's make a bet: How long before this tale of Snapchat sex extortion at Ohio University ends up in an episode of Law & Order: SVU? I give it 'til March. The story has almost everything Dick Wolf loves in a plot: Sex, blackmail, college students, hidden identities and — duh duh — technology gone awry.
It seems the trouble started when Dorian Graham, a 19-year-old undergraduate at Ohio University, started an online relationship with another male student. Only Graham left out one pretty important detail: that he was a dude. But Graham had a plan! Posing as a girl, Graham convinced the other student to send him nude photos using the photo-messaging app Snapchat, prosecutors say.
Now the whole point of Snapchat is to provide a "safe" way to send sexy photos (people will tell you the app has all sorts of uses, but that's only because they don't want you to know how many sexy selfies they're sending). Unlike us reckless, old-school sorts who still send photos via text or email, Snapchat users rest easy knowing their images will self-destruct within 10 seconds. After this time, the original image gets deleted from the recipient's phone and the Snapchat servers.
But does this provide a false sense of security? Obviously. Because screengrabbing, hello! When Graham received sexy photos from his target, prosecutors say he saved copies and uploaded them publicly to Instagram. He then allegedly told the other student that in order to have the pics removed, he had to engage in sexual activity with Graham — which the other student actually did. When Graham attempted sexual extortion a second time, the other student went to the campus police. Graham was charged with sexual battery and extortion and will go to trial in February.
Athens County Prosecutor Keller Blackburn told a local news station: "It was just another instance of social media and people being too free with their thoughts and what they're doing." Blackburn is the same idiot who used a sexual assault on OU's campus earlier this year as another opportunity to lecture about social media's dangers. But in this case, he may have a point. "We have to remember that when we do things involving social media, that these things are out there forever," said Blackburn. Even on Snapchat, kids. Even on Snapchat.