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Mijangos’ actions constitute serial online sexual abuse—something, we shall argue, akin to virtual sexual assault.As the prosecutor said in the case, Mijangos “play[ed] psychological games with his victims” His victims reported signs of immense psychological stress, noting that they had “trouble concentrating, appetite change, increased school and family stress, lack of trust in others, and a desire to be alone.” * * * As bizarre as the Mijangos case may sound, his conduct turns out to be not all that unusual.Our key findings include: The paper proceeds in several distinct parts.We begin with a literature review of the limited existing scholarship and data on sextortion.



He then, according to court documents, “used [those] intimate images or videos of female victims he stole or captured to ‘sextort’ those victims, threatening to post those images or videos on the Internet unless the victims provided more.” Mijangos’s threats were not idle.Each involves an attacker who effectively invades the homes of sometimes large numbers of remote victims and demands the production of sexual activity from them.Sextortion cases involve what are effectively online, remote sexual assaults, sometimes over great distances, sometimes even crossing international borders, and sometimes―as with Mijangos―involving a great many victims.If the prosecutorial estimates in the various cases are to be believed, the number of actual victims probably ranges between 3,000 and 6,500―and, for reasons we explain below, may be much higher even than that.