As the Internet, social media, and mobile devices increasingly become an all-pervasive reality of life, there are more and more opportunities for criminal activity to take place via these mediums. One area where this is evident is with child pornography, sexting and so-called “revenge porn.” Here in Florida, the latter has been in the news more and more in recent months, particularly after the passage of Florida’s revenge porn law last year.
Florida’s law regarding revenge porn, also known as sexual cyberharassment, makes it a misdemeanor to “willfully and maliciously” publish a sexually explicit image of another person that includes the personal identification information of the depicted person to an Internet website without the depicted person’s consent, for no legitimate purpose, with the intention of causing that person substantial emotional distress. Second and subsequent convictions constitute a third-degree felony.
At present, there is no federal law specifically targeting revenge porn, though one lawmaker, Rep. Jackie Speier, has proposed legislation that would make it a federal crime to post online or distributed nude or sexually explicit images with out of “reckless disregard” for the consent of the individual in the images. It remains to be seen what will become of that proposal.
Those who face charges under Florida’s revenge porn law, of course, should work with an experienced criminal defense attorney to protect their rights throughout the criminal process and to build the strongest possible defense case. This is particularly important when it comes to search and seizure issues. We’ll consider this issue further in our next post.
Florida Statute 784.049
The Hill, “Revenge porn bill unveiled after struggle to bring tech on board,” Mario Trujillo, July 14, 2016.