Cyber revenge or revenge porn has been defined as the posting of illicit pictures of another person without his or her consent, often as retaliation following a bitter breakup between partners.
In California and throughout the nation Cyber Revenge AKA Cyber Porn is an invasive and increasingly common crime, which often involves the online posting of private or intimate photos of another person without the person’s consent. Commonly, videos or images are taken over the course of a relationship and while the victim may have consented to the original taking of the picture, he or she did not consent to the electronic distribution of the images. Typically, photos are posted to social media sites to shame, embarrass, harass, and intimidate the victim. In many states the law does nothing to specifically protect the victims of these acts. Los Angeles is experiencing an epidemic of this type of behavior.
California is among a growing number of states that have enacted laws to protect people’s privacy in the bedroom. What two Consent adults do of a sexual nature is between them and them alone, but is it? With the advent of the internet and social media it has become increasingly easier to post pictures, videos and other media on the World Wide Web for all the World to see. But what if what is being posted is a sexual act or photograph with someone else who did not intend the encounter to become public? In California this could be a crime.
Penal Code Section 647 (j)(4) is the relevant law in the area.
California Penal Code 647(j)(4) PC, sets forth the legal definition of revenge porn/nonconsensual pornography as follows:
- Possession of an image of the intimate body part of another identifiable person, or an image of that individual engaged in sexual intercourse, sodomy, oral copulation or masturbation;
- The person in possession intentionally distributes that image;
- When the image was taken, an understanding existed between you and that person that the image would remain private;
- You know or should know that the distribution of the image will cause the person serious emotional distress; and
- The person shown in the image suffers serious emotional distress.
Currently the crime is a misdemeanor in the state and is punishable by as much as one year in the County Jail.
With this in mind, when is it against the law to post a picture of your girlfriend or ex-wife on the internet? If the photo was at one time private and you break up with the person get angry and post a sexually explicit photo or video to get back at the person this will likely result in a criminal prosecution.
What should you do if the police contact you and allege you engaged in revenge porn? Understand that the police are not there to help. First, tell the officer you want to cooperate but need time to first speak a lawyer. The Constitution gives every person the right to say this without being punished.
If you have been arrested in Los Angeles for committing cyber porn, Call Criminal Defense Attorney Matthew Ruff for a discreet free consultation at 310-527-4100.