A CANBERRA teen who threatened to expose a man as a sex offender unless he received payment has avoided jail time.

According to The Canberra Times, the 15-year-old was one of a group of teens using a Grindr account to lure men to extort.

The teen was part of a group who ambushed the victim, demanding $1000. When the victim couldn’t pay, they suggested a payment plan, before he contacted police about the extortion.

The boy, who cannot be named for legal reasons, pleaded guilty to blackmail and other charges related to supplying MDMA and prescription drugs.

He was given a four-month suspended sentence for his role in the scam.

ACT Children’s Court chief magistrate Lorraine Walker said the teen’s offence “preyed on the vulnerability of a particular section of the community”, and called the scam targeting gay men “vicious”.

While the boy did not have homophobic views, his actions targeted the gay community, she said.

A 17-year-old also involved in the scam was last month sentenced to 19 months’ jail, to be suspended from August.

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