Tampa Bay area attorneys say revenge porn more common than most think

Credit.com photo
Credit.com photo

PINELLAS COUNTY, Fla. (WFLA) – It often begins as something innocent. Perhaps sending a sensual photo or video to a partner. But, when the person on the receiving end falls out of love, things can turn ugly with one quick click.

In 2015, Florida senator David Simmons was a driving force behind Florida’s first-of-its-kind revenge porn bill.

“With the click of a key, a person can destroy the life of another individual,” said Simmons.

Clearwater attorney Matthew Dolman says revenge porn is much more common than most people think.

“It’s just something done in the heat of the moment, whether it’s just to attract a companion or keep your companion happy,” he said.

For one of his revenge porn clients, he says personal photos are now costing her thousands.

“We’ve hired a forensic expert who does nothing but internet forensics out of Arizona and we’ve had about $14,000 in costs,” said Dolman.

Besides jail time, those convicted can also face monetary damages.

Tampa Bay area attorney Mike Walker explained the end result in his biggest revenge porn case to date.

“We have a really sizable judgment that is following this individual around and until he pays it or satisfies it. He’s going to have trouble buying a house, buying a car or doing anything that requires financing because they’re always going to see that judgment out there,” Walker said.

Despite all the negative consequences, Walker said he finds most people who post revenge porn are not at all regretful.

“In some sick way, they justify what they did based upon what they felt was done to them.”

Anyone convicted here in Florida of posting explicit photos of someone without permission can face a first degree misdemeanor charge. A second time results in a third degree felony and up to five years in prison.