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Revenge Porn Lawyers – What is Revenge Porn?

revenge porn lawyersRevenge Porn Lawyers are frequently asked, what exactly is revenge porn?  In this post, we explain the basics.  If you need revenge porn lawyers for an ongoing case, call our expert team now on 0800 1933 999.

 

What is ‘Revenge Porn’?

 

In April 2015, the Criminal Justice and Courts Act 2015 created a new criminal offence of Revenge Pornography, which made it an offence to disclose private sexual photographs and films with intent to cause distress.

 

Prior to this, revenge porn offences had to be dealt with via existing copyright and harassment legislation, for example the Communications Act 2003, Malicious Communications Act 1988 or the Harassment Act 1997.

 

What is the extent of this offence?

 

In the 18 months following the implementation of the legislation, 206 prosecutions have been brought.

 

However, it is widely accepted that shame and humiliation deters victims from reporting the crime.

 

On the other hand, the accelerating use of social media creates more opportunities for perpetrators – i.e. through the use of revenge porn websites, as well as Facebook accounts and other platforms.

 

As the Director of Public Prosecutions, Alison Saunders, recently commented: ‘There is a growing trend of crimes committed on or through social media’.

 

The message to would-be perpetrators is that revenge porn offences are being taken very seriously, are now viewed by the criminal justice system as distinct from other offences and that those involved with law enforcement and prosecutions are becoming increasingly skilled in understanding the nature of the offence and bringing perpetrators to justice.

 

How could a perpetrator be punished for this offence?

 

If found guilty of a revenge porn offence, a perpetrator could be given a maximum 2 year custodial sentence and ordered to pay a fine and court costs.  Our team of revenge porn lawyers are experts in this field and can help you if you are being investigated for revenge porn offences.

 

What sentences have perpetrators received since the new legislation took effect?

 

21 year old Jason Asagba, one of the first people to be convicted under the new legislation, was given a six month custodial sentence (suspended for 18 months) and ordered to complete 100 hours of unpaid work within the community. Asagba was also given a restraining order and ordered to pay £345 in costs.

 

Asagba was convicted of posting, texting and emailing intimate photos without the woman’s consent with intent to cause her distress, after pleading guilty to Revenge Pornography.

 

His victim had been asleep when he had taken photos of her; no consent was given. Asagba sent the photos to the victim’s family via text and also sent the victim a photo via email.  In addition, Asagba hacked into the victim’s Facebook account and shared an image on her timeline.

 

In line with the legal definition of the offence of Revenge Pornography, Asagba had disclosed private sexual photographs and films with intent to cause distress. It was clear from the actions detailed above that Asagba had intended to cause the woman distress and embarrassment.  Sharing such photos in a public forum was vindictive and criminal.

 

Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) guidance on Revenge Porn:

 

  • Revenge Porn is the sharing of private, sexual materials, either photos or videos, of another person without their consent and with the purpose of causing embarrassment or distress. The images are sometimes accompanied by personal information about the subject, including their full name, address and links to their social media profiles.
  • The offence applies both online and offline and to images which are shared electronically or in a more traditional way so includes the uploading of images on the internet, sharing by text and e-mail, or showing someone a physical or electronic image.
  • The issue in cases of ‘revenge pornography’ will be whether the message or communication is grossly offensive, indecent, obscene or false, not whether the image itself is indecent or obscene.
  • Section 1 of the Malicious Communications Act 1988 deals with the sending of electronic communications which are indecent, grossly offensive, threatening or false, provided there is an intention to cause distress or anxiety to the recipient.
  • Section 127 of the Communications Act 2003 makes it an offence to send or cause to be sent through a ‘public electronic communications network’ a message that is ‘grossly offensive’ or of an ‘indecent, obscene or menacing character’.
  • Where there is more than one incident, or the incident forms part of a course of conduct directed towards an individual, a charge of harassment should be considered.
  • Where the images may have been taken when the victim was under 18, prosecutors will consider offences under the Protection of Children Act 1978.
  • In the most serious cases, where intimate images are used to coerce victims into further sexual activity, other offences under the Sexual Offences Act 2003 will be considered.

If you have been charged with Revenge Pornography, and need revenge porn lawyers, contact our office on 01623 600645 for free initial advice.

 

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