This is the classic revenge porn statute that came into being in 2013. With all of these computers and people videotaping their sex acts, taking photographs and posting them, there's been a bunch of new crimes that have been added to the Penal Code. Also, the federal level crimes have been added. This type of crime is a form of domestic violence.
Consensual Nude Photos or Videos
There's one crime where you're videotaping someone that doesn't know that they're being videotaped. For example, you invoice somebody to your home and you videotape you having sex with them. That would be more under the invasion of privacy category and you could be charged for this if the person doesn't know and you secretly have a videotape and somehow law enforcement finds out about it.
This section having to do with photographing or videotaping someone who is nude and there's some sort of sexual activity going on, this crime has to do with initially, the photographs or the video being consensual, meaning the other person gave their permission.
They allowed it and they didn't have a problem with it, and now you decide that you're going to distribute that. In order for it to be a crime, there has to be an understanding between the two of you that those videos or pictures were going to remain private between the two of you and you weren't going to distribute those on the internet for example.
California Revenge Porn Statute
Usually where we see this is Penal Code Section 6647(j)(4) – the revenge porn statute. It has to do with, okay, we've broken up now. I'm going to teach you a lesson. What once was private is now going to become public. I've had clients sending it to their significant other's workplace or some other boyfriend of the significant other in order to cause emotional distress.
And of course, they're going to cause emotion distress when someone's sex video is out there for everyone to see. So, this is where this revenge porn has come in and they are prosecuting this. You could be looking at some serious punishment for these types of crimes. Nobody wants to have anything sexually-related on their criminal record.
If you're being accused of posting a photograph or a video of someone who you used to date and at the time it was consensual but now it's been put out there and you're being blamed for it, obviously you want to get to an attorney before you start answering anybody's questions.
In many cases, what they will do in these cases is do what is called a pretext phone call, where they'll have the person's photograph or video that you put out there that has you and them or just them engaging in some sort of sexually-explicit activity, law enforcement will tape-record the conversation between you and the person.
The person will typically challenge you or confront you with you being the one putting that out there and mentioning that you didn't have their permission to do that and you've caused them a lot of emotion distress.
They hope that you will respond by saying you're sorry or saying something that implicates you in being the one that did it knowing that you shouldn't have done that. If they can get that type of a phone call, that would obviously be very good evidence against you and you could be charged with this revenge porn-type activity.
Los Angeles Criminal Defense Attorney
So, the bottom line is, if you're charged under this Penal Code Section having to do with revenge porn and you have put someone's video or picture out there engaging in some sort of sexually-explicit activity or them being nude and you are doing that to get back at them and that causes them emotional distress, you could be charged with a very serious crime.
If you have one of these cases pending, obviously pick up the phone. Make the call. Let's sit down in the privacy of my office and we'll go through everything step-by-step.
A lot of times you have defenses in these cases. Maybe the law enforcement agencies that are investigating it aren't going to be able to figure out that you're the one that was involved in sending it. Maybe somebody else had access to send it. Maybe the other person is trying to set you up and make it look like you sent it. There can be all sorts of different reasons for this type of activity.
What you need to do is get in front of an attorney, give him the information, be honest with him under the privacy of the attorney/client privilege and then you two will figure out a strategy on how to best deal with this and get you out of the criminal justice system as fast as possible.
Hedding Law Firm
16000 Ventura Blvd #1208
Encino, CA 91436