Memorial run held for Streetsboro High School sextortion victim

Published: Apr. 30, 2023 at 5:04 PM EDT
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STREETSBORO, Ohio (WOIO) - Nearly 200 people braved the elements Sunday morning while taking part in the 5K honoring the Streetsboro High School senior that fell victim to sextortion.

James Woods, 17, took his own life after falling victim to a sextortion scheme on Nov. 19, 2022.

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.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) issued a public safety alert nearly one month later, citing a rise in the internet-based crime.

James’s parents, Timothy and Tamia Woods, have since used their heartbreak to raise awareness in the hopes that no other families suffer a similar fate.

While wearing teal for Sexual Assault Awareness Month, which took place throughout the month of April, Timothy and Tamia felt the outpouring of love and support from James’s classmates, teachers and friends.

“It makes us really happy about how he touched so many people and how he inspired so many people to keep running,” Tamia said.

Tamia and Timothy said they will continue raising awareness while ensuring victims get their voices heard.

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) or the Suicide Hotline at 988.

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