Sexual Cyberharassment (Revenge Porn) in Florida

Sexual Cyberharassment, commonly called Revenge Porn, is the publication of consensually obtained sexually explicit images of another person without the depicted person's consent.

Sexual Cyberharassment differs from Video Voyeurism because the sexually explicit images were consensually obtained, but published without the depicted person's consent.

If accused of Sexual Cyberharassment, you need to know the:

Definition of Sexual Cyberharassment

Under Florida Statute 784.049(3), the crime of Sexual Cyberharassment is committed when a person publishes a sexually explicit image of another person along with personal identifying information of the depicted person to a website without the depicted person’s consent, for no legitimate purpose, and with the intent of causing the depicted person substantial emotional distress.

Penalties for Sexual Cyberharassment

First Offense Sexual Cyberharassment

The crime of First Offense Sexual Cyberharassment is classified as a First Degree Misdemeanor in Florida.

If convicted of First Offense Sexual Cyberharassment, a judge can impose any combination of the following penalties:

  • Up to one (1) year in jail.
  • Up to one (1) year of probation.
  • Up to $1,000 in criminal fines.

Second Offense Sexual Cyberharassment

The crime of Second Offense Sexual Cyberharassment is classified as a Third Degree Felony and is assigned a Level 1 offense severity ranking under Florida's Criminal Punishment Code.

If convicted of Second Offense Sexual Cyberharassment, a judge is required to impose a minimum jail sentence of 10 days in jail and can also impose any combination of the following penalties:

  • Up to five (5) years in prison.
  • Up to five (5) years of probation.
  • Up to $5,000 in criminal fines.
  • Up to sixty (60) day impoundment or immobilization of vehicle.

Defenses to Sexual Cyberharassment

In addition to the general pretrial and trial defenses that can be raised in any criminal case, the primary defense to the crime of Prostitution is to assert that consensual sex occurred.

Anonymous Publication

Sexual Cyberharassment only makes it unlawful to publish sexually explicit images that identify the person depicted in the sexually explicit image. Consequently, so long as you do not identify the person depicted in a sexually explicit image by name or other identifying information, it does not constitute Sexual Cyberharassment to post a sexually explicit image of another person.

Legitimate Purpose

It is lawful to publish a sexually explicit image of another person in furtherance of a legitimate purpose. [1]

Such a legitimate purpose might be found if the publication was done for artistic, medical, or investigative reasons.

Non-Publication

Sexual Cyberharassment requires the publication of sexually explicit images to an “Internet Website”, consequently the transmission of sexually explicit images through email, text message, peer-to-peer networks, WeChat, Skype, or Facebook Messenger does not constitute Sexual Cyberharassment.

Unreasonable Distress

Publishing a sexually explicit image of another person that would not cause the a reasonable person substantial emotional distress, does not constitute the crime of Sexual Harassment.

The determination of whether the publication of a sexually explicit image would constitute severe emotional distress would be determined on a case-by-case basis based upon the circumstances and extent of the publication.

Contact Criminal Defense Lawyer Richard Hornsby

If you have been arrested or charged with Sexual Cyberharassment in Orlando or the Central Florida area, please contact Criminal Defense Lawyer today.

The initial consultation is free and I am always available to advise you on the proper course of action that can be taken.

References

  1. Alter v. Paquette, 98 So. 3d 218 (Fla. 2d DCA 2012)