A Los Angeles resident was charged and convicted of an internet crime for posting nude photos of his ex-girlfriend on a social media site. The conviction is a first in the Los Angeles county, following the recent passage of a new Revenge Porn Law which makes it a misdemeanor to publish nude pictures of another person with the intention to cause serious emotional distress to the depicted person.
Elements of Cyber Revenge
In order to convict, prosecutors must prove certain elements of the crime such as:
- The electronic distribution of nude images of another person
- Accompanied by details or information identifying the person depicted
- The person in the picture must not have given their consent to the distribution
- The defendant intended to cause serious emotional distress or humiliation to the person in the picture
The penalty for this Internet crime is jail time of up to six months and a fine of up to $1,000.
Purpose of the Revenge-Porn Law
The Revenge-Porn law is also known as ‘cyber revenge law’ because posting objectionable photos or videos are often done by former partners in retaliation after a bad breakup. The impact of the humiliation can be so intense on the persons depicted that some suicides have been attributed to the publication of the nude photos.
Victims of cyber revenge are also susceptible to blackmail and extortion particularly when websites devoted to revenge porn require money in exchange for the removal of the objectionable material. Another victim was compelled to change her name in order to remove any stigma associated with the pornographic material about her.
Defenses Available to Defendants
Not all publications of sensitive material on the Internet constitute this Internet crime. Since lack of consent is an essential element of the revenge porn law, prosecution must prove that the complainant did not take the nude photos themselves and provide them to the defendant. Prosecution must also prove ‘intent to cause serious emotional distress”.
If you or some you know is charged with an Internet crime, you are entitled to criminal defenses that prevent you from being unjustly or severely punished for a crime that you did not commit.
In metropolitan Los Angeles, the law office of David S. Kestenbaum has more than 30 years of experience in criminal defense, earning the Martindale-Hubbell AV rating and “Preeminent Criminal Defense Attorney” award from LexisNexis. We are also listed as Superlawyer in 2014.
David S. Kestenbaum’s experience as prosecutor is instrumental in creating effective criminal defense strategies for those charged with internet crimes. Call the Kestenbaum Law Group today at (818) 616-4312 to speak to an attorney.