High school student’s suicide was the result of ‘sextortion’, Streetsboro police say

James Woods (Source: Streetsboro Schools)
James Woods (Source: Streetsboro Schools)((Source: Streetsboro Schools))
Published: Nov. 22, 2022 at 3:56 PM EST

STREETSBORO, Ohio (WOIO) - Streetsboro police and the family of Streetsboro High School Senior James Woods announced Tuesday James took his own life because he was the victim of sextortion.

Sextortion is an online crime that happens when an adult poses as a same-aged peer to convince a victim to share sexual pictures or perform sexual acts on camera.

James, 17, died on Nov. 19. He was a member of the track and cross country team.

Streetsboro Police Chief Patricia Wain, James’ parents Tamia and Timothy Woods amd Streetsboro City Schools Superintendent R. Michael Daulbaugh released the new information “to prevent further tragedy.”

“Please talk to your children and make sure you know what is going on with them,” said Tamia and Timothy Woods.

Streetsboro police and school officials added more of their students are being targeted for sextortion. If your child has been a victim, please call Streetsboro police at 330-626-4976 or your local police agency and screenshot any information or images still remaining on the phone.

“It is our hope that in sharing the message, we open up the lines of communication between children, parents, educators and police,” said Streetsboro Police Chief Wain.

“Educate! We want to educate families about sextortion, and we want to encourage all families to make sure they are checking their kids’ social media accounts and making sure they are staying safe,” said Tamia and Timothy Woods.

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If you or someone you know is in emotional distress or suicidal crisis, call the National Suicide Prevention Hotline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255).

For more information about mental health care resources and support, The National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) HelpLine can be reached Monday through Friday, 10 a.m.–6 p.m. ET, at 1-800-950-NAMI (6264) or email info@nami.org.