A Medford couple are jailed on charges of theft by extortion for an alleged attempt to blackmail a married man the woman had a relationship with.

A Medford couple are jailed on charges of theft by extortion for an alleged attempt to blackmail a married man the woman had a relationship with.

Georgina Mae Pinheiro, 44, of the 400 block of Grape Street, Medford, and Jeffrey Lynn Kenton, 47, of the same address, each face a single count of theft by extortion and are lodged in the Jackson County Jail on $50,000 bail.

The victim of the blackmail attempt — a 42-year-old married man — contacted Medford police on Saturday to report ongoing harassment, Medford police Lt. Bob Hansen said.

The man reported that about a year ago he contacted a woman on craigslist.org seeking "company." He struck up a relationship with the woman, whom police identified as Pinheiro.

When he tried to break off the relationship, the woman said she would contact his wife and tell her everything unless he paid her $500. He paid that demand and similar demands continued through several months, police said.

Early this month, Kenton — claiming to be Pinheiro's husband — contacted the man and demanded additional money, threatening to send the whole story to the man's wife by e-mail if he didn't pay up again, police said. The man once again paid a large sum of cash.

Kenton and Pinheiro demanded money from the man again on Saturday, police said. This time, he went to police, so, when he arranged a meeting with the suspects, they were taken into custody by officers waiting with the man, Hansen said.

Police said the pair had demanded $4,100 from the victim before they were arrested Monday.

— Anita Burke