Lawton_Lawton Police say last week they confiscated nude photos and explicit sex videos from a Lawton man's cell phone. They say Matthew Rogers threatened to show the pictures and videos of his ex-girlfriend to their coworkers if she didn't pay him $3,000. While taking pictures or recording videos on a cell phone may be quick, easy, and fun, police say they often outlive the relationships they once documented and can end up becoming embarrassing and painful.
"The victim and the suspect had dated once upon a time, and the suspect had some explicit photos of the victim on his cell phone," said Lieutenant Larry Lafrance. He says that when the relationship went south, Rogers' ex-girlfriend owed him money. "Apparently the suspect didn't feel that he was getting paid back soon enough, or was not going to get paid back at all," he said.
Lafrance says Rogers began to threaten his ex-girlfriend. "He threatened to send those out to her co-workers and other people if she did not pay him back the money." The woman decided to take her case to the police, and Lafrance says it's a decision that rarely is made. "Anytime that you have something of a personal matter, where you're going to share that information - in this case photographs and video - with other individuals, it's hard on a person to come forward with that," he said.
Lafrance advises people to think twice before snapping pictures or video on a cell phone. "Anytime that someone takes a digital image of you - and it's on a cell phone, or placed on a computer - it's just a push of a button and it goes out to everybody in the world," he said. He says a good rule of thumb is to assume any picture or video will be viewed by thousands - or even millions - of others and will probably always exist.
Rogers has been charged with attempt to extort money, and has been released on bond. Under Oklahoma law, extortion is a felony charge that can carry a sentence of up to five years in prison.