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Former Will County Board member alleges revenge porn

In a court filing this month, former Will County Board member Kathleen Konicki provides further details regarding her lawsuit against two former boyfriends, accusing one of them of distributing “damagingly embarrassing” photos of her.

Konicki filed a sworn statement in Will County Circuit Court on May 16, describing photos of her distributed by her ex-boyfriend as revenge porn.

In the lawsuit filed in December, Konicki says Timothy Rathburn, her former boyfriend and an attorney, distributed offensive photos of her in a “damagingly embarrassing and intimate nature” to Will County officials, including Circuit Court Judge Gerald Kinney and State’s Attorney James Glasgow.

Konicki, an attorney, also names another former boyfriend, John Bassett, in the suit, alleging that he gave the photos to Rathburn.

She’s representing herself in the lawsuit and says in the new filing that she tried to retain several attorneys to represent her, but two admitted they would not because of the peripheral involvement of the judge and the state’s attorney. In her affidavit, Konicki said former Will County Judge Roman Okrei, who was advising her as an attorney, encouraged her that Will County State’s Attorney James Glasgow would vigorously prosecute her case.

Okrei told her Glasgow might see her case as a “timely and appropriate vehicle for himself as an elected official to step forward into the public fray of revenge porn and take the lead,” the affidavit said.

“He said that my timing couldn’t be better, because the problem of vindictive men lashing out at women by posting intimate pictures on the Internet (‘revenge porn’) was widespread and on the verge of getting public attention and publicity,” Konicki wrote. “He said that women from all walks of life, across the nation, were being targeted with revenge porn.”

The state’s attorney’s office never did take up Konicki’s case—she said Okrei told her “Glasgow has been advised not to get involved, since he, himself, had been sent the pictures,” the affidavit said.

Konicki declined to comment on the lawsuit, saying she was not seeking media attention. Rathburn did not return a call for comment.

The suit seeks damages in excess of $50,000 and alleges intentional infliction of emotional distress, defamation and invasion of her right to privacy.

Ex-Will Board member alleges ‘revenge porn’ – SouthtownStar
http://southtownstar.suntimes.com/news/27730289-418/ex-will-board-member-alleges-revenge-porn.html
revenge porn – Google News… Read the rest

Maryland Governor Signed Bill Against Revenge Porn

ANNAPOLIS, Md. (WJZ) — Added protections from harassment due to broken relationships are signed into law.

Pat Warren reports revenge porn is now a punishable offense.

Annmarie Chiarini’s bad breakup has helped change the way the state views intimate Internet postings.

In a WJZ investigation, Chiarini goes public with her experience as a victim of revenge porn. She tells WJZ an ex-boyfriend posted explicit pictures of her on the Internet. He had taken the pictures with her permission, but posted them in revenge after she broke up with him.

“There I was, and there was my first and last name, and there was the town where I live, and there was the college and the campus where I teach, and there was a solicitation for sex,” she said.

Chiarini went to police for help.

“I sought help from law enforcement, and it was the same shake your head. ‘There’s nothing we can do, no crime has been committed. There’s nothing we can do. Silly girl, go away. There’s nothing we can do,’” said Chiarini.

The extent of the problem became evident as other victims came forward.

“As I’m learning more and starting to understand the Maryland law, I was getting more and more frustrated, and I said, ‘Oh, I’m just going to change the law then,’” Chiarini said. “And that was it. Something clicked and I said, ‘This is what I’m going to do. This is not happening to anyone else.’”

With the help of committed supporters, the House and Senate unanimously passed and the Maryland Governor signed a bill making revenge porn a misdemeanor with up to a year in prison and a $500 fine.

Some Maryland lawmakers wanted to make revenge porn a felony. Arizona’s governor just signed a bill making it a felony in that state.

The Maryland law takes effect October 1.

Bill Signed Into Law Making Revenge Porn A Misdemeanor – CBS Local
Bill Signed Into Law Making Revenge Porn A Misdemeanor
revenge porn – Google News… Read the rest

Arizona House approves revenge porn bill

PHOENIX —

The Arizona House on Monday unanimously approved a bill aimed at stopping jilted lovers from posting explicit pictures of their former flames online to get revenge.

The revenge porn bill sponsored by Rep. J.D. Mesnard, R-Chandler, would make it a felony to post nude photos of a person without their written consent.

“As technology changes, people invent new ways of hurting folks,” Mesnard said. “If at the end of the day we send pictures to somebody in the context of a loving relationship, we should not have to wonder what that person is going to do.”

House Bill 2515 is one revenge porn bill of many being considered by lawmakers across the nation in response to the posting of “revenge porn” that has been made easier by the growth of social networking sites. Last year, California made it a misdemeanor to post such images.

Members of an Arizona House committee that passed the bill in February expressed concern that the proposal was too broad and could inadvertently target teens who “sext.”

“Sexting” involves sending racy images to peers that are sometimes resent to others. Current law makes the practice a petty offense.

Mesnard said an amendment to the bill addressed those concerns.

Nobody spoke in opposition to the bill Monday. It now heads to the Senate.

Arizona House OKs ‘revenge porn’ bill – azcentral.com
http://www.azcentral.com/news/politics/free/20140310arizona-house-oks-revenge-porn-bill.html
revenge porn – Google News… Read the rest

Towson Woman Fighting Back After She’s Exposed Through Revenge Porn

TOWSON, Md. (WJZ) — It’s called revenge porn, and it’s a growing problem, impacting thousands of lives. Couples trust each other with intimate photos, then become victims of the digital age.

A Towson woman tells Linh Bui how she’s fighting back after she’s exposed.

Annmarie Chiarini is a respected English professor, a single mother of two and a victim of revenge porn.

It’s a growing problem on the Internet, where former lovers get revenge by posting their ex’s racy photos that were supposed to be for their eyes only.

Annmarie’s problems start when she goes on Facebook and reconnects with a former boyfriend after almost 20 years.

“I was shocked and thrilled and it’s that whole, ‘Oh my gosh!’” she said.

Thinking he’s the one, Annmarie even lets him take explicit naked photos of her. But then, he starts to change.

“He was getting more and more manipulative and even more controlling,” she said. “He had threatened to sell the pictures that I had allowed him to take. He said, ‘I will destroy you’ and hung up the phone.”

With just a few clicks, he inflicts maximum damage, targeting her family, friends, students and bosses with links to her racy photos.

Reporter: “When you first saw that email and you saw that these pictures of you were out there for everyone to see, what was your reaction?”

Annmarie: “I had lost control. Somebody else was in the driver’s seat of my life and I was at his mercy. I realized this is my life and this is never going to end.”

Annmarie isn’t alone. Other victims have joined forces to make revenge porn a crime.

WJZ investigates, learning more than 1,200 victims have contacted the cyber civil rights initiative in the last six months and more than 45 websites are devoted exclusively to revenge porn.

“It’s either every day or twice a day victims get in touch with me,” said Prof. Danielle Citron, University of Maryland Carey School of Law.

Citron is an expert on revenge porn.

“It is creating so much social harm for victims, for society, for the kinds of expectations we have of each other. We can no longer trust one another,” she said.

Feeling betrayed and humiliated, Annmarie takes a handful of prescription pills to end her life.

“I questioned my ability to be a role model to my children,” Annmarie said. “I didn’t want to embarrass them, I didn’t want them to go through school saying, ‘Oh, your mom’s the one who’s naked on the Internet.’”

“I somehow needed to make sure that nobody else felt this way, that nobody else hit this low,” she continued.

When Annmarie finds out there are no laws to punish her ex-boyfriend, she comes to Annapolis and teams up with Delegate Jon Cardin to make revenge porn a crime.

“At the click of a mouse you can ruin somebody’s reputation, you can ruin their life, you can cause them significant psychological anguish,” Del. Cardin said. “We want people to think twice before clicking the mouse.”

“Until the law in Maryland is passed I won’t truly know peace,” Annmarie said.

Under Cardin’s proposal, posting sexually explicit material of someone without their consent would be a misdemeanor punishable by up to one year in prison and a $5,000 fine.

Towson Woman Fighting Back After She’s Exposed Through ‘Revenge Porn’ – CBS Local
Towson Woman Fighting Back After She’s Exposed Through ‘Revenge Porn’
revenge porn – Google News… Read the rest

Victims of revenge porn deserve real protection

A lot of people know my story. Nobody has to ask me how I got where I am, because my business is posted all over the internet.

My ex-boyfriend was the first one to put me out there, exposing me in my most intimate moments. He did it for control. He did it for revenge. He did it for whatever reasons perpetrators normally have for stalking, harassing, and violating others.

At no point was I allowed to escape and move on. The internet made it possible for my ex and strangers to reach into my life, no matter where I was, and destroy everything I was trying to build. And nobody was willing to stop him.

I was the second person to put myself out there. When I couldn’t stand hiding anymore, having changed my name and lived in fear for years, I took back control of my life. I took it back by saying:

Yes that’s me in those pictures, in that video, and I am not ashamed. I have a right to live my life and not be afraid.

That was the birth of End Revenge Porn, which turned into the Cyber Civil Rights Initiative (CCRI). Every step in building CCRI has been a learning experience, both in the logistics of starting an organization and in how a movement takes on a life of its own.

We have barely begun, but we find ourselves buoyed by overwhelming support, even as we receive a stream of hateful messages from strangers. This is a culture war, but it is one I have faith we will win, perhaps more quickly than our opposition expects.

California’s SB255 “revenge porn law”, signed into effect by Governor Jerry Brown late last week, was a bittersweet victory for us. Finally, lawmakers and the public acknowledged revenge porn as a problem to be solved.

But that acknowledgement was tainted by the attitude that no matter how reprehensible the actions of perpetrators, the victims somehow deserved what they got. To be told that victims like me were too “stupid” to be provided the protection of the law, and to have that attitude written into the law was crushing. People who have taken pictures of themselves in their most private moments, and shared them as part of an intimate relationship with one person, will find no protection in California. For the moment.

CCRI has been successful so far because I don’t just see the gaping holes in our legal system; I experience them firsthand. On Thursday, I received word that the criminal case against my ex is being dismissed. The police told me that they were able to link the IP address from his house to the postings. However, without a warrant to prove he was the one sitting behind the computer committing the crime, which could only be obtained if his crime was a felony, they have nothing.

Not only do we need strong, comprehensive laws on the books, we need them to be felonies so that law enforcement will be able to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the perpetrator is the one behind the postings. Other states will pass laws, and California will strengthen its law because this issue will only grow.

As victims continue to suffer the physical and psychological fallout of this violation, the public will demand action. The purpose of CCRI and the End Revenge Porn campaign, beyond supporting victims, is to speed the public to that conclusion by making people acknowledge the suffering of those victims.

Victims of revenge porn deserve real protection – The Guardian
https://news.google.com/news/feeds?hl=en&gl=us&authuser=0&q=revenge+porn&um=1&ie=UTF-8&output=rss
revenge porn – Google News… Read the rest

Why Isn’t Revenge Porn Illegal Everywhere?


People who have their nude pictures posted on the Internet without consent — a vile practice known as revenge pornhave little legal recourse. That’s changing, but only very slowly, with legislation proposed in California earlier this year joining New Jersey as the second state with laws specifically targeting the practice.* The California bill passed the state Senate earlier this month and this week the California legislature will debate it. If the bill passes in its current form, posting revenge porn would be considered a misdemeanor and posters of their ex-girlfriends’ nudes could face up to a year of jail-time or a fine of up to $2,000.

Despite what sounds like a much-needed bill for a practice that victims and advocates like Holly Jacobs — the first Floridian, according to her lawyer, to sue her ex for the alleged distribution of non-consensual pornography — say is becoming increasingly common, not everyone thinks explicit revenge porn bills are the way to go. One California State senator voted against the proposed legislation arguing, along with the American Civil Liberties Union, that it limits free speech, reports The New York Times‘s Somini Sengupta today. Both Florida and Missouri rejected similar bills last year because of free speech concerns.

In addition, other legal experts argue that current laws already protect revenge porn victims, under harassment, stalking, and even copyright law. “I’m unclear exactly how much ground the new law would cover that isn’t already covered by existing laws, such as anti-harassment/anti-stalking laws,” Eric Goldman, a law professor at Santa Clara University, told Sengupta. “As usual, one of the key questions is how existing law has failed and what behavior is being newly criminalized.” Indeed, Jacobs’s May 2013 lawsuit aims to charge her ex-boyfriend with one count of stalking, two counts of harassment by use of personal identification info and one count of unlawful publication, all of which could add up to a total of four years’ jail time. (Jacobs worked with Florida lawmakers to pass a bill, which ultimately failed, to make the practice of posting pornographic images on the Internet without consent a third degree felony.)

Still, Jacobs and others say laws specifically targeting revenge porn only cover repeated postings of images. The Internet and sites like the now defunct Is Anyone Up and its even more vile replacement HunterMoore.tv, from noted jerk and Internet entrepreneur Hunter Moore, make a single posting even more impactful because just one image posted without permission can go viral, and harassment or stalking laws might not cover a single infraction. In addition, having specific laws against posting pornographic images online without permission would deter the behavior, argues University of Maryland law professor Danielle Citron. “It signals taking the issue seriously, that harms are serious enough to be criminalized,” she told Sentgupta.

*This post originally said New Jersey passed a revenge porn law in 2011. It already had one on the books.

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Why Isn’t Revenge Porn Illegal Everywhere? – The Atlantic Wire

revenge porn – Google News… Read the rest