Revenge Porn Illegal in Illinois

revenge-pornIn Illinois, the publication of sexual images of another person without his or her consent is a serious offense. A charge of posting what is popularly known as revenge porn can have devastating consequences on the lives of the accused and his or her family. Aside from imprisonment and the required payment of heavy fines, this crime will go on a person’s permanent record, making it difficult to secure future employment and housing. Since the December passage of the law, which took effect in June, Illinois has become one of 16 states that criminalizes revenge porn.

Revenge Porn

A person commits non-consensual dissemination of a private sexual image when he or she intentionally publishes an image of another person:

  • Who is at least 18 years old;
  • Whose identity is discernible from the image itself or from information displayed in connection with the image; and
  • Who is engaged in a sexual act or whose intimate parts are exposed, in whole or in part.

Furthermore, the person disseminating the images must:

  • Have obtained the image under circumstances in which a reasonable person would know or understand that the image was to remain private; and
  • Knows or should have known that the person in the image had not consented to the dissemination.

Images of those under age 18 will be prosecuted under harsher child pornography laws.

Intent

The revenge porn law does not require an intent to harm on the part of the person disseminating the images. Thus, even if someone forwards or re-posts a photo that someone else originally published, as long as a reasonable person would have known that the image was intended to be private, he or she can be charged with posting revenge porn.

Image

An image can include photographs, films, videotapes, digital recordings, or other depictions or portrayals of an object, including a human body. The image also need not be taken by someone else, as the new law also prohibits the unauthorized publication of selfies, or photos taken by the subject.

Nudity

Unlike other revenge porn laws, the Illinois law does not require that the subject of the photo be nude in order for its dissemination to be considered unlawful. The law only requires that the photo reveal a person’s intimate parts, which can be either fully or partially unclothed, or even exposed through transparent clothing.

Penalties

The offense of disseminating an intimate photo without the subject’s consent is a Class 4 felony and is punishable by up to one to three years in prison, a $25,000 fine, and restitution to the victim. Furthermore, the law requires that the offender forfeit any profits made from distributing the image.

Understanding the new revenge porn laws is necessary if you are facing criminal charges. Please contact the experienced Naperville criminal defense attorneys at Law Office of Glenn M. Sowa, LLC for a free initial consultation.

 

Sources:

http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/publicacts/fulltext.asp?Name=098-1138

http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/local/politics/ct-quinn-signs-illinois-revenge-porn-law-met-1230-20141229-story.html

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