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Criminalization of Revenge Porn in Minnesota

Criminalization of Revenge Porn in Minnesota

New state laws went into effect on August 1, including the criminalization of revenge porn. Revenge porn is the publication of private explicit content involving a person that did not consent to share the content. It is now illegal to distribute private images without the approval of all parties involved. Questions about revenge porn can be answered by a St. Paul criminal defense attorney.

Private Image Distribution Now Criminalized

According to the new bill, violators who distribute nonconsensual private sexual images can be charged with either a gross misdemeanor or a felony. The charge depends on the circumstances, the prosecution, and the experience of the St. Paul criminal defense attorney.

A sexual image can include:

  • photographs
  • film
  • video recordings
  • digital photographs and recordings

The content is nonconsensual when a person has not given consent to share the material. The image could also include identifying information (either visual or sharing personal information). Nonconsensual content is created under circumstances where a reasonable person would expect the content to remain private.

Penalties For Revenge Porn

Anyone who distributes private sexual images without consent can face misdemeanor charges. These are punishable by fines up to $3000 and up to one year in jail. Charges can be upgraded due to aggravating factors. These include if the image was posted online, if it was obtained through theft, or if the content was posted for profit or to harass the victim.

If these factors are present, the person can be charged with a felony. This type of crime is punishable by fines up to $10,000 and up to five years in prison. Other damages could be awarded to the victim for financial loss, and civil penalties may be given to the victim (up to $10,000).

Exceptions To The Bill

Some exceptions limit the liability of people disseminating explicit content. The material may be used to report a crime or be part of medical or mental health treatment. The content is not considered nonconsensual if it involved public exposure or was made in a commercial setting.

A Fine Line To Tread

The difference between consensual material and nonconsensual can change after a break in a relationship. It is important to understand the new law and understand how sexual content could be considered revenge porn. Any allegation of a sex crime is severe. Anyone accused of a sex crime should act quickly to protect their rights.

Citations

http://www.senate.leg.state.mn.us/departments/scr/billsumm/summary_display_from_db.php?ls=89&id=4659

https://www.mprnews.org/story/2016/08/01/new-minnesota-laws

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