Former Jets linebacker Jermaine Cunningham pleads guilty in revenge porn case

Jermain Cunningham pleads guilt to revenge porn

Jermaine Cunningham Photo: AP

ELIZABETH, N.J. — A former linebacker Wednesday to three charges in connection with a that invoked New Jersey’s revenge porn law.

Jermaine Cunningham, an NFL free agent, is expected to be sentenced to probation in June.

The 26-year-old Cunningham pleaded guilty in state Superior Court to invasion of privacy, illegal transport of a weapon and possession of hollow-point bullets.

The charges stemmed from a domestic dispute at a residence in Summit on Dec. 29. A loaded handgun and the bullets were found in Cunningham’s car. Prosecutors say he posted a sexually explicit image of his estranged girlfriend on Instagram without her consent.

The decade-old New Jersey law being used to prosecute Cunningham was the first of its kind in the country. The law forbids disclosing photos or videos without consent of someone “whose intimate parts are exposed” or who is engaged in a sexual act. Under the law, an invasion of privacy conviction is punishable by up to five years in prison.

Sixteen more states have passed similar laws, including 14 in the past two years. At least 10 additional legislatures are considering revenge porn laws.

Cunningham had sought to enter pre-trial diversion program that would have enabled him to have any conviction erased from his record, but a judge denied that request two weeks ago.

He legally owned the handgun but illegally transported it when he had his car sent to New Jersey last year, the Union County prosecutor’s office said.

Cunningham was with the Jets last year. He spent the season on injured reserve after tearing his Achilles tendon in a preseason scrimmage.… Read the rest

Jets Jermaine Cunningham faces charge of so-called revenge porn

SUMMIT — When Jets linebacker Jermaine Cunningham was arrested Dec. 29 in Summit, he became one of the latest high-profile cases of what is commonly called “revenge porn.”

Cunningham was charged under a New Jersey statute that makes it a crime to distribute sexual images of someone without that person’s consent. The 10-year-old law was the first in the nation to make the spreading of such images a crime.

Lawyers familiar with cyber invasion of a personal privacy say distribution of the explicit images is an ever-growing problem fed by the rapid advance of personal electronic devices and expansion of social media.

“We don’t have our phones within an arm’s length. We have them in our hands,” said Carrie Goldberg, a Brooklyn lawyer who focuses on issues of invasion of sexual privacy.

Cunningham was arrested at his Summit apartment Dec. 29 in what authorities said was a domestic violence case. He was charged with spreading the sexual images, and charged with criminal mischief for allegedly destroying clothes. Police also charged him with illegally having a .380 handgun in the glove compartment of his car.

Cunningham has pleaded not guilty and his lawyer says he will fight the charges.

Prosecutors have released no information about a motive in the case, but Goldberg said it fits the criteria for invasion of privacy.

Though often commonly called “revenge porn,” Goldberg says that’s a misnomer catch-all phrase referring to any disclosure of sexual pictures without the person’s consent.

Jermaine Cunningham Jets LinebackerJets linebacker Jermaine Cunningham appeared in court Wednesday and pleaded not guilty to charges stemming from illegal disclosure of a person’s sexual images, which is commonly known as “revenge porn.”

“The motive is not really relevant. It could be a hacker who’s just putting the images out there for kicks,” Goldberg said.

“Regardless of the motive, the harm and humiliation to the victim are the same,” she said.

Mary Anne Franks, an associate professor a the University of Miami Law School, refers to it as “non-consensual pornography.”

New Jersey became the first state in the nation to make unauthorized spreading of a person’s sexually explicit images a crime when it passed the law in 2004, said Franks, who has helped draft similar statutes in other states.

Currently 16 states have laws outlawing the distribution of such images, but with 13 states enacting the measure over the last 18 months, she said.

Goldberg credits New Jersey with aggressively pursuing the issue. In one case, she said, a man was sentenced to six months in jail.

“New Jersey is serious about prosecuting people,” she said.

The third-degree crime carries a maximum sentence upon conviction of five years in prison.


Tom Haydon may be reached at thaydon@njadvancemedia.com. Follow him on Twitter @Tom_HaydonSL. Find NJ.com on Facebook.

Jets Linebacker Jermaine Cunningham faces charge of so-called revenge porn
http://www.nj.com/union/index.ssf/2015/01/jets_linebacker_face_charge_of_revenge_porn_under_new_jersey_law_that_led_country.html… Read the rest