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The criminal offense of sextortion is a form of blackmail or extortion and is committed when a person threatens to publish private nude, pornographic, or explicit photos, videos, or images of another person’s body or sexual activity unless the person provides something of value—such as money, sexual activity, more sexual images, or the performance of sexual acts (often online using webcams).

Sextortion laws vary from state to state and are sometimes part of a state’s laws regarding revenge pornography, blackmail, extortion, bribery, or cyberstalking and are prosecuted under those or other criminal offenses rather than as a specific offense called sextortion. These laws are generally located in a state’s statutes—often in the penal or criminal code—and are sometimes titled with descriptive names such as The Unlawful Disclosure or Promotion of Intimate Visual Material.

In Texas, sextortion is not recognized as a distinct criminal offense under a specific statute named 'sextortion.' However, the behavior typically associated with sextortion is covered under various Texas laws. For instance, Texas Penal Code Section 21.16, known as 'Unlawful Disclosure or Promotion of Intimate Visual Material,' addresses the non-consensual dissemination of explicit images and could apply to some sextortion cases. This law makes it illegal to disclose intimate visual material of another person without their consent and with the intent to cause harm. Additionally, Texas laws on extortion and online harassment may also be relevant. Extortion, which involves obtaining something of value through coercion, is covered under Texas Penal Code Section 31.04, 'Theft by Threat.' Online harassment, which can include threats to release explicit images unless certain demands are met, is addressed in Texas Penal Code Section 33.07, 'Online Harassment.' Violations of these statutes can lead to serious criminal charges, and individuals accused of such crimes should seek the advice of an attorney.

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