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We hear about it all the time now.  A boyfriend or husband talks his girlfriend or spouse into posing for some risqué pictures or even a video.  Sometimes it is just pictures in various states of undress and other situations involve explicit images or videos of sex acts.  Or, wanting to please or tease, she sexts him racy selfies.

He assures her that the images are only for him.  He tells her the images are already deleted or that they will be deleted or that they are kept in a safe place that nobody can find.  In other situations he does not have her consent at all and she is unaware that he has compromising images.  He has recorded her with a hidden camera, without her knowledge, permission or consent.

Time passes.  There may be a break-up or a divorce.  It is the furthest thing from her mind.  And then, one day, she gets a phone call or she Googles her name and is horrified to find out that there are nude pictures of her or pictures of her engaged in sex acts all over the internet.  She can’t even look male co-workers in the eye, because she knows they have seen the pictures.  Family members, friends, church members, employers and school acquaintances all know.  The humiliation is unbounded as it is the gift that keeps on giving.  Relationships with new boyfriends or spouses are strained, to say the least.  Her children’s friends are talking.  How does she explain this to her children?

The websites have names like “myex.com.”  The jilted spouse or boyfriend has uploaded photos to one of these “revenge porn” websites.  She does some searching.  Makes some phone calls.  After all, she did not give her permission for her images to be posted on the web.  They have to take them down, right? The problem is that the website owners and servers are based in Russia or the Philippines or Vietnam or Poland or . . .  someplace where the law of the United States has no reach.  It gets worse.  The website’s administrator says they will be more than happy to take the images down – for a small administrative fee of $2,000.00.  “This is blackmail,” she says. Yes, it is.

The law has not caught up with technology.  The things happening today on the internet were not imaginable or even possible twenty years ago.  Facebook has only been around for eleven years.  If you wanted to take legal action in California over “revenge porn” before July, 2015, the law was far from clear as to what actions were legal or illegal and what remedies the victim would have against the perpetrators.

Fortunately, in 2014 the California Legislature enacted a new law, effective July 2015, giving the victims of unauthorized use of sexually explicit images the right to sue those who post such images without permission for damages, injunctive relief and attorney’s fees.

Some highlights of the new law are:

  • It defines what images of body parts or portions of body parts and sex acts can result in liability, if posted without permission;
  • The victim may sue under a pseudonym, such as “Jane Doe” to preserve his/her privacy and keep his/her identity confidential;
  • The law empowers the court to issue an injunction, ordering the defendant to “cease distribution” of the images;
  • If the victim prevails in the lawsuit, the court may award the victim attorney’s fees.

Our office has advised, counseled and represented clients on these issues discreetly, resulting in images being taken down from websites and monetary recovery.  If you are the victim of an invasion of privacy, revenge porn, cyberstalking or harassment, call our office and ask for Monica to arrange a discreet, free consultation.

Triebsch & Frampton, APCgmap-icon

Address: 300 N. Palm Street, Turlock, CA 95381
P.O. Box 709, Turlock, CA 95381

(209) 667-2300

Cities We Serve

  • Stanislaus County
  • Modesto
  • Turlock
  • Merced
  • Ceres
  • Oakdale
  • Ripon
  • Tracy

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