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MN judge cracks down on ex-boyfriend’s ‘revenge porn’ case

Michael Weigel’s former partner woke up last December to a stunning email from her ex.

“You will never live in peace. You will live in shame and embarrassment for the rest of your life,” the email said, according to the excerpt the woman read in Ramsey County District Court on Tuesday.

Ramsey County sheriff’s office

Michael Weigel, 39

It went on to detail how Weigel had plastered naked pictures of her that the two took while they were still a couple on her new boyfriend’s Facebook page. The photos were attached in the email.

“I wanted to crawl into a hole and disappear,” the woman recounted for the court.

She spent weeks crying and panicking as she tried to navigate Facebook’s process for getting the photos removed.

She had to show the images to police officers so that criminal charges could be pursued. She worried the public exposure might cost her her job. Her new boyfriend’s family and friends, some of whom she hadn’t yet met, now had images of her naked body in their minds, she said.

“I will worry about these images for the rest of my life and live with the shame and embarrassment the rest of my life,” she said.

In that sense, Weigel got what he wanted, the woman said.

The 39-year-old Anoka man was the first person charged in Ramsey County under a new state law that took effect during the summer of 2016 that seeks to hold people accountable for so called “revenge porn.”

As such, his ex asked Ramsey County District Judge Stephen Smith to set a precedent with Weigel’s case — ignoring his request to avoid further jail time by sentencing him in accordance with the law.

Smith ultimately did.

He sentenced Weigel to about four months in jail and three years of supervised probation on one count of felony-level nonconsensual dissemination of private sexual images.

Two additional counts of the same charge were dismissed.

His attorney, public defender John Reimer, said he believed Weigel was the first person sentenced under the new statute.

Weigel, who pleaded guilty to the charge in August, addressed the judge before receiving his sentence.

He said he relapsed on alcohol and had fallen into a deep depression after his relationship ended.

“I want to start by saying I am incredibly sorry. I have been through breakups before … but never in my life did I fall into the path that I fell into this time,” Weigel said. “I messed up. I messed up so bad and it affected so many people.”

He went on to call his former partner the “love of his life” and said he never meant to hurt her.

He added that he put himself through treatment and therapy and found a new job since he was charged.

The judge said he “appreciated” the actions Weigel has taken to turn his life around but said they couldn’t undo the impact he has had on his ex.

He also questioned Weigel’s statement that he hadn’t meant to cause harm.

“I have a hard time seeing it any other way,” Smith said.

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After pleading guilty to posting ‘revenge porn,’ P.A. man faces $30,500 court order

Saskatchewan Provincial Court in Prince Albert. Herald File Photo

A judge ordered a local man to pay $30,500 to his ex-girlfriend, as restitution for posting nude photos of her on the internet.

The 25-year-old man, who cannot be named for fear of identifying the victim, pleaded guilty to publishing intimate images without consent. He appeared in Prince Albert’s provincial courthouse on Monday, where Judge Matsalla also sentenced him to two years probation.

“The effect on the complainant is profound,” Matsalla said. “In this case the harm will be ongoing and may continue for a long period of time.”

He said he was convinced that the photos were posted out of “revenge.”

The man and the victim were both 18 years old, and dating, when he took 10 intimate photos of her. They broke up months later, and he posted the photos online. They soon spread to a number of websites.

Even his defence lawyer, Mary McAuley, said he posted the photos out of vindictiveness and anger after a “bad break up.” She said he was intoxicated when he committed the crime.

The victim was first alerted to the publication of the images years later, when men began soliciting her for sex through online messaging. She found out that she had been identified, by name and location, on the sites hosting the photos.

She has since taken steps to remove them, Crown prosecutor Shawn Blackman told the court. The process is extremely difficult and expensive. She wants to hire a firm that specializes in the removal of “revenge porn,” and got a $30,500 quote for their services.

The Crown and the defence agreed to recommend a restitution order, obliging the man to pay that sum. They only disagreed over the specific terms of his probation. Blackman sought to prohibit the man from using a computer, a smartphone or any device with internet access.

McAuley said that would make it almost impossible for the man to find a job.

The lawyers argued at length about whether the man was remorseful, and appreciated the impact his actions had on his ex-girlfriend. In a victim impact statement, the woman spoke of the consequences the images have had for her relationship with her parents, her professional prospects and her romantic life.

“The internet never forgets,” Blackman said. “As a result of that, the complainant faces a potential violation of her privacy rights by strangers in perpetuity.”

But in a pre-sentence report prepared for the court, the man seemed to view the whole matter as an “overreaction.” According to Blackman, the man “feels the offences are stupid because they happened in the past.” He said the man came across as “very cold and uncaring.”

“The charges were an overreaction on the part of the victim and the justice system,” the man indicated, according to Blackman’s reading of the report.

McAuley disagreed. She admitted that the publication “was retaliatory; it was vindictive.” But she said he was so intoxicated, and the events were so far in the past, that he barely remembered posting the images when he was charged.

“He in no way is disrespectful to women,” she said. “He is struggling with this… He has been going through a lot of depression.”

The Crown also pointed out that the man was rated in the “high” range to reoffend sexually. But McAuley said that made him out to be some sort of “deviant.” She said he isn’t a long-term sexual offender, and argued against the internet provisions the Crown was seeking.

“If it was somebody that was in their home uploading child porn on a daily basis, all the time, I could see that – get the computer away from him,” she said. “But here we have one isolated opportunistic crime that has major ramifications for the complainant.

“We have to help him so he can get that job,” she continued. “If he can’t pay this, how do we get those images down?”

The judge ultimately chose to restrict the man’s internet, computer and smartphone use during his probation. But he allowed for a probation officer to relax the condition in order to allow the man to look for employment or pursue education. He also imposed a clause to keep the man away from the victim, and to forbid him from possessing drugs, alcohol or firearms.

Blackman said that the case was one of the first to come up in Saskatchewan under the sharing intimate images law. He drew parallels with the cases of Rehtaeh Parsons and Amanda Todd, young women who committed suicide because of cyberbullying.

The man spoke to the Herald briefly as he walked through the parking lot, away from the courthouse. He took issue with the Crown’s argument that he never showed remorse.

“She didn’t deserve that,” he said. “I feel awful.”

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West Midlands revenge porn cases double

Figures released under the Freedom of Information Act reveal the number of offences increased to 105 last year, up from 55 in 2015.

So far this year 73 offences have been reported.

Wolverhampton Liberal Democrat campaigner Rob Quarmby said: “I don’t want to see, as I do sometimes, a child’s first conversation about the meaning of consent being in a police interview room.

“I have a daughter and the thought that something like this can happen to her horrifies me?”

Revenge porn is the distribution of a private sexual image of someone without their consent, with the aim of causing distress.

It is a phenomenon that has swept the country, with teenagers and young adults taking and sharing naked photographs on smartphones.

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Reasonable Doubt: Emerging civil remedies for revenge porn

I’ve grown up with the Internet for most of my life. I’m old enough to remember when the it was only a few websites and there was almost no real content. The possibilities, however, were endless. There was this feeling that we all knew that we were participating in something revolutionary that would change the world and how we would view it.

With time, and with more and more people accessing it, the Internet began to change. This most recent fundamental change, dubbed Web 2.0, was heralded as the “Great Equalizer” that would bring peoples of all walks of life together.

The Internet, as it turns out, is only as good as the people who use it. For most, the Internet is simply a tool for communication and to absorb media. People use it to find the best restaurant in town, to post their favourite photo on Instagram, or to share cat memes. Depending on your view of cats and people who post photos of food, this is generally benign.

The Internet’s dark side

There is, however, a darker side to the Internet. It’s a place where people can betray your trust. They use the Internet as a weapon to bully, shame, and victimize people who have shared intimate moments with those who were not deserving of their trust. Given how vast and integrated the Internet now is in our lives, the damage can rarely be undone.

Both the courts and governments across the country have worked to find a way to mete out justice, in one form or another, against those who have publicly disclosed intimate and private videos and photos without the consent of those depicted. Manitoba, for example, introduced The Intimate Image Protection Act, which was designed to deal with sharing such images without consent. Nova Scotia brought in the Cyber-safety Act, but this was struck down by the Nova Scotia Supreme Court as being unconstitutional.

British Columbia, however, has the Privacy Act, which provides that it is a tort for a person willfully and without a claim of right to violate the privacy of another. The circumstances and expectations of one’s privacy is to be assessed on a case-by-case basis, and the court would need to consider the “nature, incidence, and occasion of the actor conduct and to any domestic or other relationship between the parties”.

First civil case in Ontario

The first reported case in Canada to deal with revenge porn in a civil context was in Ontario, Jane Doe 464533 v. N.D., which was released in 2016. The plaintiff in that case brought a lawsuit after her ex-boyfriend posted an intimate video of her online to a pornographic website and also shared it with her friends, despite having promised to never share it with anyone. Justice Stinson found that the defendant had breached the plaintiff’s confidence by sharing a video which had “the necessary quality of confidence about it”.

Stinson also found that the defendant had committed the tort of intentional infliction of mental distress and invaded the plaintiff’s privacy by publicizing or publishing the private life of another where it would be highly offensive to a reasonable person and not of legitimate concern to the public. The judge awarded the plaintiff $100,000 plus costs, which included $25,000 in punitive damages.

B.C. case involved videotaping

T.K.L. v. T.M.P. was a case where the plaintiff sued her stepfather for secretly observing and video-recording the plaintiff while she was undressed in the bathroom and bedroom. Part of her lawsuit was that her stepfather had violated the B.C. Privacy Act and a fiduciary duty he owed her. Justice Thompson found that the plaintiff’s stepfather’s spying and videotaping violated the Privacy Act and breached his fiduciary duty.

The videotaping occurred on four occasions in 2011 while the plaintiff was between the ages of 20 and 21. He took video of her while she was in the shower and while she was in her bedroom, changing. The defendant admitted he took these videos, in part to humiliate her and get revenge.

Thompson found that the stepfather violated Subsection 1(1) of the Privacy Act when a person willfully and without a claim of right violates the privacy of another. The plaintiff was able to show in this case that her stepfather’s actions caused her psychological harm. She had become quiet, withdrawn, and fearful after the video-recording incidents, and only by the time of trial had she slowly started to become who she was again. The plaintiff had physical symptoms as well—including losing 20 percent of her body weight and scratching her arms with pins—and was diagnosed with an anxiety disorder and depression.

The judge awarded the plaintiff $85,000 in general damages, which included $25,000 in aggravated damages.

Precedents set in both cases

Both of these cases are notable because of their rarity and the amount that was awarded in damages. These cases are not typical. The reality is that most cases are unlikely to ever net such a large award from the court. Each case is also fact-specific, and the court will assess each case on its merits.

There can also be procedural issues that may get in the way. In Jane Doe 464533, a recent decision by the Ontario courts has overturned the summary-judgment decision and is allowing the defendant to mount a defence in that case. As such, it will be important to watch and see how that case develops in the future.

What is important about both of these decisions, however, is the precedent they set. The court has laid the framework for future cases to build on. T.K.L. is particularly important to British Columbians because it shows that the language of the Privacy Act can be used toward video recordings even when they are not shared with the public.

A word of caution: you should not act or rely on the information provided in this column. It is not legal advice. To ensure your interests are protected, retain or formally seek advice from a lawyer.

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Anoka Man Gets 4 Months in Revenge Porn Case

Weigel was sentenced Tuesday to 120 days in the Ramsey County Correctional Facility with credit for 56 days served. If he’s deemed eligible, he could serve the sentence as work release. Weigel was also placed on three years’ probation.

According to the criminal complaint, Weigel allegedly created the fake account in December of last year and sent friend requests to all the boyfriend’s Facebook friends – a group which included many of his ex’s family and friends.

The page also allegedly contained multiple written criticisms of the two, including blaming the boyfriend for breaking up Weigel and his ex’s relationship. He also allegedly posted a message naming his ex’s place of employment, and reportedly stated she was not suitable to work there.

According to the complaint, Weigel told investigators, “I wanted one chance to let everyone know what they did. I wasn’t trying to hurt anyone for monetary gain.”

In August, the St. Paul Pioneer Press reported Weigel was the first person charged in Ramsey County under Minnesota’s new “revenge porn” law, which took effect in August 2016. The intent of the law is to punish those who publicize private sexual images of another.

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Revenge porn prevalance indicates legislative failures

An article about the website Anon-IB recently garnered national attention when dozens of male Marines posted nude photographs of their female colleagues. Anon-IB—short for Anonymous Image Board—is one of many “revenge porn” websites that encourage users to post explicit photos of their exes, without the exes’ consent.

Anon-IB receives 50,000 individual visitors each day and its page views can average 170,000, according to the New York Post. The site’s categories include “drunk/passed out,” “peeping toms” and “up-the-skirt” photos. Some material depicts molestation and rape, with many of the girls pictured below the age of 18. Users can post teenage girls’ pictures, as long as the tag does not contain their age, according to the New York Post.

Revenge porn epitomizes the failure of legislators and policymaking to catch up with the rapid progression of technology. Georgia resident Brandon Lee Gary, for example, had been convicted for taking up-the-skirt photos of women while they shopped. A judge threw out the ruling, however, after it was discovered how far behind the times Georgia’s invasion of privacy laws were, according CBS News. The law did not cover actions in public spaces, like stores.

Aware of this loophole, some states have created voyeurism statutes that make such behavior illegal. As of this year, legislation to prevent revenge porn has passed in 38 states and the District of Columbia, according to FindLaw.

California Rep. Jackie Speier hopes to protect all 50 states with a bill that would be enforced at a federal level. Speier’s Intimate Privacy Protection Act of 2016 specifically targets revenge porn and explicit images taken without consent.

The bill would amend Chapter 88 of Title XVIII, which defines and prohibits recorded voyeurism. Created back in 2004, this title prohibits the filming or documenting of “a private area of the individual,” according to section 1801.

The addition of the Intimate Privacy Protection Act would specifically address distribution of those images and the lack of consent. It is a way that legislation could begin catching up to the ever-dwindling digital privacy of citizens in the modern era. The bill, however, is still being debated by the House of Representatives.

Numerous grassroots movements have recently started up in the hopes of shutting down revenge porn sites and raising awareness. Activist Alex Edwards, for instance, began a petition on Change.org that has gained over 9,000 supporters since it was started in 2012. Edwards is calling on the FBI to begin an investigation that combats Anon-IB and its distribution of child pornography.

Until legislation passes, these grassroots efforts appear to be the best recourse against revenge porn that the U.S. has.u

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Twin Peaks Defense Attorney says District Attorney is using revenge porn to criminalize his client

The defense team for a Twin peaks defendant filed a motion Thursday to get Mclennan County District Attorney Abel Reyna removed from their client’s trial — citing “illegal and outrageous” government conduct.

Houston-based Defense Attorney Paul Looney demanded Reyna be replaced by a special prosecutor. He claimed Reyna was criminally victimizing his client — Cody Ledbetter and Ledbetter’s wife.

“We just want a trial, but instead, we’re getting revenge porn,” Looney said.

According to Looney, Ledbetter had images of himself and his wife engaging in sexual activity on his cell phone. After Ledbetter’s arrest, Looney said Reyna copied and distributed those images more than 150 times to counsel and staff for each of the Twin Peaks defendants.

“There’s nothing kinky, nothing weird, it’s a married couple engaging in married activities,” Looney said. “It has nothing to do with any theory, or any case dealing with Twin Peaks.”

Looney said he filed a private motion with 19th District Court Judge Ralph Strother to get those images back, but that was dismissed. He said he has no choice but to go public and hold the Reyna accountable.

“We can’t control the outcome, but we can control trying, and we’re going to try our damnedest,” Looney said.

The hearing is in three weeks. District Attorney Abel Reyna has not offered a comment on the claims yet. Ledbetter’s trial is scheduled for January. Looney said he has no plans to delay the trial.

© 2017 KCEN-TV

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Fake model scouts tricking UK girls into sharing explicit photos | Society

A growing number of teenage girls are being approached online by fake model recruiters who lure them into sending indecent images of themselves, which are later used to extort money.

Facebook and Instagram accounts are being set up in the names of leading model agencies such as Storm Model Management, which discovered Kate Moss and represents Cindy Crawford.

Girls receive messages from someone who claims to be recruiting for the agency; they are encouraged to send topless photos or conduct a Skype interview in which they are asked to remove their clothes or wear lingerie.

Sarah Doukas, the managing director of Storm, said that in the past two years the number of calls the agency had received about scam agents had risen from one a week to almost daily messages.

“The rise of social media has impacted greatly on why modelling agency scams are increasing,” Doukas said. “Firstly, a lot of young people’s Instagram accounts are not private, and consequently they are easy to approach. Secondly, fraudsters are becoming more sophisticated because of social media generally.

“We are getting more scammers posing as ‘friends’ of the model agency and offering an introduction to us, and this is not legitimate. There was one example recently, which went on for several months, where a vulnerable girl was invited to a shoot and she ended up taking her clothes off. She had been approached by a fraudster claiming to know me.”

In the UK last year there were 327 reported cases of scam model recruiters. DI Chris Felton, crime manager at the National Fraud Intelligence Bureau, said a “significant” number involved scammers operating on social media.

“Social media means [scammers] can now reach a larger audience than previously, and if you are after a younger demographic then it’s an easy way to reach them,” he said. “[The number of cases of scam model recruiters] may have gone up slightly, but if you look back, social media will have played a bigger role because it’s how people communicate now.”

In other instances, girls are asked to pay extortionate amounts of money to get portfolios or “comp cards” (essentially a business card). A legitimate agency would offer these for free.

Doukas said: “Young people and their parents or guardians must be vigilant and defensive – do not trust anyone until you have established they are legitimate, and do your research.”

Alex Haddad, the director of BMA Models, said his agency was receiving 10 phone calls and 20 emails a week about scam agents – nearly twice as many as last year.

“[Scammers] use names from our agency, a booker or agent. They have used different people in the past – our website has a history of who works here on it. They then contact people from Snapchat, Instagram and Facebook and pretend to be a headhunter or recruiter,” he said. “They will say they are scouting for models and ask for pictures, sometimes they ask for naked shots … We are getting phone calls from concerned parents saying, ‘Is this a scam? What is happening?’

“Some of them do Skype calls which are so-called interviews, and they ask things like, ‘Would you shave your head or go topless?’ It’s always young girls who get targeted.”

Jessica Barker, co-founder of the cyber security consultancy Redacted Firm, said she had heard cases of girls being lured into sending sexually explicit images and told the photos would be posted online unless the scammers were paid.

“Teenage girls using Instagram and sharing pictures get approached by someone who has a profile looking like a modelling scout or talent scout for TV and film, often in the US,” she said. “They say the girls look great and have the right look for film or whatever modelling campaign they are supposedly doing. Then they ask, ‘Can we see some more pictures?’ They flatter the girls a lot and give them hope in terms of what they are looking for. They encourage the girls to then share explicit pictures, and when they do they try to extort them of money.”

Barker added: “Awareness is key. This form of attack is very unknown and people are not talking about it much in media. If you’re in this situation, approached by someone asking you for explicit images, don’t send them. A reputable model agency, for example, would never ask for someone to send naked images of themselves. If you have sent the images and are worried about being scammed, or you have received threats, tell a trusted adult.”

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New Bill Could Make Revenge Porn A Crime In NYC: Gothamist

 


(istockphoto)

 

After years of stalled efforts at the state level, New York City is now pursing its own legislation to criminalize “revenge porn”—the act of sharing explicit photos of a person with the “intention to cause economic, emotional or physical harm.”

Under the new bill, which is expected to get a committee vote in the council next month, sleazy offenders who share “intimate images” without their subject’s consent will face one year in jail and a fine of $1,000. Victims may also pursue civil penalties—including “compensatory and punitive damages”—in the absence of a criminal conviction.

The bill was first introduced by Queens Councilman Rory Lancman last September, and has since gained the support of both Mayor de Blasio and the NYPD.

“It is critically important for the laws in New York City to catch up with our technology to provide protections for New Yorkers from such abuse,” Lancman said in a statement. “Criminalizing revenge porn will ensure perpetrators can be held accountable for their actions, and that victims can receive justice they deserve.”

“These are real victims that we don’t have a tool on the books to actually assist,” NYPD Legislative Affairs Director Oleg Chernyavsky explained during a hearing for the bill earlier this year.

While the city-level legislation is being “primed” for a forthcoming vote in the Public Safety Committee, a similar bill at the state level has languished without a vote for three straight years. “There’s people who blame the victim for taking the pictures or allowing that significant other to take the pictures in the first place,” an anonymous Albany source told the NY Post.

New York is one of just 12 hold-out states that have refused to criminalize revenge porn, though the city’s bill might soon change that, according to Brooklyn attorney Carrie Goldberg, a pioneer in the field of sexual privacy.

“The cost to one’s reputation, finances, safety and overall future as a victim are mind-blowing, and it’s wonderful that our city lawmakers grasp this,” Goldberg told Gothamist.

“Obviously, it’s clear that our local city lawmakers prioritize sexual privacy much more than our state lawmakers—it’s my wish that some day all 20 million New York state residents will get protection.”

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Colorado’s revenge porn law brings nearly 200 charges, but getting convictions is a challenge – The Denver Post

A Colorado law designed to punish people for revenge porn — posting intimate photos of former lovers or spouses on the internet typically following a break-up — has resulted in nearly 200 charges since it was passed three years ago, but securing convictions and guilty pleas has been a challenge.

There have been 192 misdemeanor cases for non-consensual pornography filed since House Bill 14-1378 became law in July 2014. Just over a third of those have resulted in guilty pleas or verdicts, reflecting the difficulty of proving the cases but also, possibly, weaknesses in the law.

While law enforcement officials and victims advocates praised the law’s success, they remained measured because, The Denver Post found, many cases have been either dismissed or set aside in plea-bargain deals.

Also, it doesn’t appear anyone has yet used the law’s strongest tool at punishing someone for allegedly posting nude photos of ex-girlfriends or ex-wives — most of those charged are men — without permission: filing a civil lawsuit that offers guaranteed penalties of at least $10,000.

“It’s hard to know how many cases there might be because they are not filed as revenge porn,” said attorney Cassandra Kirsch, who has represented a handful of clients whose cases were settled before a lawsuit was filed. “And a lot of attorneys bring them under different theories, such as an invasion of privacy case or defamation or negligence. The law is relatively new, and a lot of people just don’t know they can file it.”

In a lawsuit recently filed in Denver District Court, a three-time Paralympian accuses her airline pilot ex-boyfriend of circulating nude photos she shared with him during their relationship. The unidentified 39-year-old woman’s lawsuit against her 41-year-old ex-boyfriend doesn’t use the new state law, but instead relies on laws aimed at defamation and invasion of privacy.

The Post found that most of the misdemeanor criminal charges filed under Colorado statute 18-7-107 — including one against the airline pilot — were accompanied by another charge, though 89 were filed by themselves, state court records show. There were 37 misdemeanor charges of posting intimate photos on the internet without permission that were part of a larger felony case.

Of the 192 cases filed, 117 have already been decided: 42 ended in a guilty plea or verdict, a 36 percent conviction rate, state court records show. Of the remainder, 27 were dismissed, three were acquittals, 26 were dismissed as part of a plea-bargain agreement, and 19 were dismissed as part of a deferred sentence deal. There were 75 cases still pending as of Sept. 1.

“Dismissals are unusual, but a vast majority of our cases will end up in plea agreements,” said Denver District Attorney Beth McCann, who voted for the bill as a legislator and now prosecutes the offenders. “It’s particularly difficult with cases where victims and perpetrators know each other, and this happens far too frequently with these.”

The law isn’t as clear as it could be, Kirsch said. For example, it does not apply to photos of someone who is clothed, even if they are engaged in a sexual act.

“If you have sexual activity and the victim is clothed, that’s not technically a violation since, in the case of oral sex, it’s the defendant’s body that is shown, not the plaintiff’s,” Kirsch explained.

That too few of the criminal cases have resulted in a conviction is not a surprise, she said.

“Firstly, how do you know they are the one to post the photo on the internet?” Kirsch asked. “There’s a difficult burden of proof. Often times it’s only the plaintiff’s word, and sometimes it’s the same photo that was shared with multiple partners. That’s difficult to unravel and difficult to hold people accountable.”

El Paso has most in state

With 15, Denver County ranks fourth for the number of revenge porn cases it has filed since 2014, tied with Larimer County, records show. Three were dismissed, and three others were dismissed as part of a plea-bargain deal in Denver. Two were dismissed in Larimer County.

Tops in the state, however, is El Paso County, with 32 revenge porn cases filed — the county where bill-sponsor Amy Stephens resides. Of those cases, nine were dismissed outright, four were dropped as part of a deferred judgment, and five others were dismissed on a plea bargain, records show. There were five guilty verdicts, and nine cases are pending.

“I’m actually pretty shocked by that,” said Stephens, who left the legislature in 2014. “I knew from the beginning that this would be tough to prosecute, but just because of that doesn’t mean you don’t do the right thing and make it a crime. A number of people are trying to get their justice and it’s not OK for people to get a free pass.”

A spokesman for El Paso County Prosecutor Dan May said he was away and unable to comment.

In her lawsuit, the Paralympian says her ex-boyfriend, Byron Rodenburg, allegedly posted the woman’s photos to a pair of pornographic websites in which users rate a person’s intimate parts. She has asked to remain anonymous in her lawsuit because of her status as a semi-public figure and because it could impact her regular job.

In court papers, the woman’s attorneys say about a half-million people have seen the photos, which included a caption with her real name and birthday. Some users tracked her down on Facebook and wrote to her, the lawsuit says, increasing her anxiety and trauma. The lawsuit says she’s since been diagnosed with post-traumatic stress syndrome.

Her attorney, Mark Jachimiak, did not comment.

“While in today’s world of technology it may be less shocking to learn that some couples take and share explicit pictures to use and share within the safety and confines of their partnership,” the lawsuit reads, “it is not commonplace to have one half of the partnership then post the pictures, along with a vulgar paragraph coined as an invitation to harm (the woman) on pornographic websites for hundreds of thousands of people to see.”

Rodenburg is also charged in Adams County with posting an image for harassment, a misdemeanor, and felony stalking, records show.

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