California Sends Its First Revenge Porn Perp to Jail

Wednesday, December 03, 2014

California found a fitting first subject to showcase its new revenge porn law that criminalizes the unauthorized online posting of naked or sexual images of someone with the intention of causing them harm.

Noe Iniguez is a dirtbag.

On Monday, Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge David R. Fields sentenced him to a year in jail and 36 months probation on three criminal counts for bad things he did to his ex-girlfriend on the Internet.

Iniguez used an alias to post a picture of her topless on her employer’s Facebook page, accompanied by a message that she was a drunk and a slut and ought to be fired. He didn’t ingratiate himself with the court by ignoring two restraining orders. The case was prosecuted by the Los Angeles City Attorney’s office.

In addition to individuals targeting victims through specific websites like Facebook, sites devoted entirely to revenge porn are all over the Internet. People upload compromising photographs of people they are trying to hurt along with personal information to compound the exploitation. Some sites charge a hefty fee to take the material down.

In February, California Attorney General Kamala Harris announced the arrest of Casey Meyering, alleged owner of the notorious revenge porn website He was extradited from Oklahoma and is scheduled to go on trial in Napa County Superior Court later this month.

California passed Senate Bill 255 last October, becoming the second state to ban online posts or other distributions of “intimate” photos or videos, without a person’s consent. New Jersey wrapped revenge porn into a broader cyber-bullying statute. The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) opposed the California legislation and its objections are cited in an analysis of the bill by state Senate staffers:

“The posting of otherwise lawful speech or images even if offensive or emotionally distressing is constitutionally protected. The speech must constitute a true threat or violate another otherwise lawful criminal law, such as stalking or harassment statute, in order to be made illegal. The provisions of this bill do not meet that standard.”

Not far behind was Arizona, but their law has run into legal trouble after a challenge led by the ACLU. U.S. District Judge Susan Bolton put the law on hold last week while lawmakers and the groups that sued rein in some of the legislation’s language. Right now, it’s a crime to “intentionally disclose, display, distribute, publish, advertise, or offer a photograph” or other image of “another person in a state of nudity or engaged in specific sexual activities” if the person “knows or should have known” that the person depicted has not consented to “the disclosure.”

The ACLU argued that, under the law, a history professor could be arrested if he showed his class the iconic “Napalm Girl” photograph from the Vietnam War, running naked in horror. A newspaper could be prosecuted for running explicit photos from Abu Ghraib. An educator could be in trouble for running a photo of a breastfeeding woman from the Internet. Libraries would be liable for the images their patrons access.  

Arizona state Representative J.D. Mesnard (R-Chandler), the bill’s author, sounded doubtful a compromise could be reached. “We may end up right back where we are now because some of the issues the ACLU brought up, I don't think they'll ever be satisfied,” he told the Associated Press.

–Ken Broder


To Learn More:

Revenge Porn Conviction Puts Noe Iniguez, L.A.'s Douchebag Boyfriend, in Jail (by Jill Stewart, LA Weekly)

Finally, Someone Is Going to Jail for Revenge Porn (by Adam Clark Estes, Gizmo)

Judge Puts Arizona “Revenge Porn” Law on Hold (by Bob Christie, Associated Press)

U.S. Judge Puts Arizona's “Revenge Porn” Bill on Hold (by David Schwartz, Reuters)

Antigone Books v. Horne—Challenge to Arizona's Nude Photo Law (American Civil Liberties Union)

Happy Belated Valentine’s Day—Alleged Revenge Porn Operator Arrested (by Ken Broder, AllGov California)

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