Archive for: April, 2015

Kansas City man gets 18 years for threatening to post teen’s nude photos

Dennis Aguilar

A Kansas City man who admitted he threatened to post nude photos of a 16-year-old girl if she wouldn’t have sex with him was sentenced Tuesday in Platte County Circuit Court to 18 years in prison.

Denis Aguilar, 23, pleaded guilty in February to attempted child enticement and attempted statutory sodomy for the threats he made in April 2014.

According to court records, the victim and her mother alerted Kansas City police after Aguilar requested nude photos of the teen. After the girl sent him photos, Aguilar threatened to post them online, said Platte County Prosecutor Eric Zahnd.

The girl told investigators that she was on a social network website that she thought barred users over 18. The teen and Aguilar met on the website and began communicating through other social media sites, Zahnd said.

Aguilar told the girl he was 18 and repeatedly asked her to send him nude photos. She said she sent him a photo thinking he would “back off” and then stopped communicating with him. However, Aguilar continued to send messages to her and became angry when she wouldn’t respond.

He then threatened to post her photo if she didn’t send another nude photo. She sent a topless photo of herself and then he said he would post the pictures if she did not have sex with him, Zahnd said.

The victim allowed investigators to use her online identity. The detective soon began communicating with Aguilar.

Using the victim’s online identity, the detective portrayed himself as another girl, this one 14. Aguilar asked to meet the 14-year-old for sex.

They arranged to meet last June 25 at a McDonald’s restaurant in Kansas City, North. Police arrested Aguilar moments after he arrived.

Texas Passes Revenge Porn Bill

revenge porn bill passedTexans who post nude or sexually explicit pictures on-line to hurt another individual, usually an ex-spouse or ex-partner, would be subject to civil and criminal penalties under a revenge porn bill unanimously accepted on Tuesday by the Senate.

“This bill gets at a very disturbing Internet trend, the posting of nude or sexually explicit images without the consent of the affected person and with the intent to harm,” Garcia said. “In many instances, the images are posted by an ex-partner seeking revenge or to cause harm, and indeed this does cause immediate and irreversible harm.”

She noted, once an image is posted online, it is extremely hard to take down. “This is a very intimate violation of a person’s privacy and no different than the trauma caused by sexual violence, harassment or abuse,” the senator said. “More often than not, the victim is a woman.”
Civil and criminal penalties could be assessed under the bill against not only the perpetrator, but also the owner of the website that publishes the images.

All women senators joined as co-authors of the legislation. “This is an important piece of legislation for the women of Texas,” asserted Sen. Joan Huffman, R-Houston. The measure now goes to the House.… Read the rest

Al Franken Urges FBI To Prosecute Revenge Porn

Sen. Al Franken is urging the FBI to more quickly and aggressively pursue and prosecute revenge porn, marking a rare burst of attention on a controversial topic about which Congress has typically been quiet.

In a letter to FBI Director James Comey, the Minnesota Democrat asked for more information about the agency’s authority to police against revenge porn, or the act of posting explicit sexual content online without the subject’s consent, often for purposes of humiliation and extortion. Its popularity has ballooned in recent years, and victims are disproportionately women.

“The digital age has brought many benefits for free speech, commercial activity, and the sharing of information, but new technologies can pose significant threats if bad actors are not held accountable to our nation’s laws,” Franken wrote in his letter.

“As technologies rapidly advance, it is our responsibility to ensure that our nation’s laws keep pace with those technologies. But it is also our responsibility to ensure that existing laws are strictly enforced.”

Franken—the top Democrat on the Senate Judiciary Committee’s privacy, technology and the law panel—asked Comey to explain all the legal authorities at the FBI’s disposal that can used to investigate and pursue revenge-porn cases. The privacy hawk also is requesting statistics on how those authorities, ranging from hacking and identity theft laws, have been used “to combat conduct of this nature.”

In addition, Franken wants information on any limitations within current law that may have impeded the FBI from carrying out investigations or making arrests. Franken, who asked for a response by May 8, is exploring whether legislation may be necessary to combat revenge porn, his office said.

Lawmakers in Congress have been reticent to weigh in directly on revenge porn, despite the growth of the industry in recent years. Rep. Jackie Speier, a California Democrat, has for the past year been working on a bill that would criminalize revenge porn, but no bill has yet been introduced.

Open-Internet advocates generally oppose legislation that would expand criminal penalties to allow authorities to go after operators of revenge-porn websites. At the heart of the debate is Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act, which generally protects websites such as YouTube from being legally liable for the third-party content. Exceptions are made for copyrighted material and content that violates certain federal criminal law, such as child porn, but websites still are able to avoid liability if they adopt reasonable takedown policies.

Absent federal action, several states have passed revenge porn laws of their own that make the practice a crime.

Franken applauded technology companies for becoming increasingly diligent in policing against revenge porn, citing recent steps taken by Twitter and reddit to make such content easier to flag and remove.

“I am hopeful that these recent developments and the increased public attention to the problem will lead to a more concentrated federal effort to combat this growing threat to Americans’ privacy and safety.”

Al Franken Urges FBI to Crack Down on Revenge Porn… Read the rest