L.A. Man Gets Prison Time In California’s First ‘Revenge Porn’ Conviction

In the first case of its kind, a man who posted topless photos of his ex-girlfriend online has been sentenced to a year in prison under California’s recently-enacted “revenge porn” law, the L.A. Times is reporting.

36-year-old Noe Iniguez, according to Ars Technica, was sentenced to a year in jail for violating the revenge porn law. In addition, he’ll have to serve 36 months probation and attend domestic violence counseling for violating an order of protection his ex-girlfriend had against him.

After Iniguez and his girlfriend ended their four-year relationship in 2011, Iniguez began sending harassing text messages to the unnamed victim. She took out a restraining order against him. In December 2013, he opened up a Facebook account under a fake name and posted topless photos of her on her employer’s Facebook page, calling her a “slut” and a “drunk,” hoping to get her fired.

It was the act of posting the nude photos online, without the victim’s consent, that put Iniguez in violation of the revenge porn law, which California had just passed in October 2013.

Revenge porn, as it is sometimes called, is pornography consisting of nude and sexually-explicit photos of people posted online without their consent. It got the name “revenge porn” because most of those photos came from ex-partners of the victims. The law was intended, says Ars Technica, to go after revenge porn sites like IsAnybodyUp, which will remove such pics after the victim pays a ransom to have them taken down.

City Attorney Mike Feuer issued a statement praising the revenge porn law for allowing him to go after someone who had attempted to harm an innocent victim.

“California’s new revenge porn law gives prosecutors a valuable tool to protect victims whose lives and reputations have been upended by a person they once trusted. This conviction sends a strong message that this type of malicious behavior will not be tolerated.”

Despite the good intentions of California’s — and other jurisdictions’ — revenge porn law, it may not survive a First Amendment challenge, should a lawyer ever try to take up such a case. In an Arizona revenge porn case, the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) argued that such laws could hinder free speech.

“The law was passed with the intention of combating ‘revenge porn,’ a term popularly understood to describe a person knowingly and maliciously posting an identifiable, private image online with the intent and effect of harming an ex-lover. But the law… goes far beyond criminalizing these offensive acts and makes no distinction between images that are published with malice and those that are not.”

Do you think revenge porn should be illegal?

[Image courtesy of BBC]