Revenge Porn: What can you do if an ex posts intimate pictures?

Have you ever been threatened with revenge porn by having intimate pictures or videos posted online to the public? Have you ever been recorded or photographed without your knowledge or consent? Has an ex posted intimate or private videos or pictures online?

If you answered “yes” to any of these questions, you are a victim of revenge porn. Revenge porn is becoming more prevalent with the use of social media platforms, such as snapchat, Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter. This is a serious matter and can have a devastating impact on the victim, such as loss of privacy, shame, mental anguish, and a loss of employment opportunities.

Under the Illinois Law, it is a criminal offense (non-consensual dissemination of private sexual images) to intentionally disseminate an image of another person who is at least 18 years of age and who is identifiable from the content or information displayed in connection with the content.   720 ILCS 5/11-23.5.  A person commits non-consensual dissemination of private sexual images when he or she is aware that the individual in this content has not consented to the dissemination. A violation of 720 ILCS 5/11-23.5 is a class 4 felony and is punishable by imprisonment of one to 3 years and a maximum fine of $25,000. Also, a person convicted under this section is subject to the forfeiture provisions in Article 124B of the Code of Criminal Procedure of 1963.

Moreover, under the Illinois Law, it is a criminal offense (Unauthorized video recording and live video transmission) to contain unauthorized video recordings or commit live video transmission of another individual without his or her consent. 720 ILCS 5/26-4.A violation of 720 ILCS 5/26-4 is a class 4 felony and is punishable by imprisonment of one to 3 years and a maximum fine of $25,000.

Furthermore, it is a criminal offense (Intimidation) to intentionally intimidate and communicate a threat to disseminate content of an individual without their consent.   720 ILCS 5/12-6.  A violation of 720 ILCS 5/12-6 is a class 3 felony and is punishable by imprisonment of not less than two years and not more than ten years with a maximum fine of $25,000.

If you answered “yes” to any of the questions above, you should seek legal advice regarding your rights and legal remedies. You should consult with an experienced attorney to do so. In addition to criminal prosecution, a victim of revenge porn may be able to seek monetary damages by filing a civil lawsuit and obtain a civil restraining order against the perpetrator.  If a website has posted intimate videos or photos without your permission or consent, it is possible to have the images removed by serving the website with notice and a take down order.

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