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On Wednesday, Rob Kardashian posted some sexually explicit photographs of his ex, Blac Chyna, on Instagram. These actions could carry steep consequences for him. This type of conduct, where an individual deliberately distributes sexually explicit material of an ex or spouse without that person’s consent, is commonly referred to as “Revenge Porn.”
Many people are wondering if Kardashian could now be facing criminal charges for distributing these illicit images to his massive audience of over 8.9 million Instagram followers. In the state of California, Revenge Porn is considered a criminal act, a misdemeanor punishable by up to six months in jail.
Is Revenge Porn a Crime in Florida?
On October 1, 2015, Florida’s Revenge Porn law went into effect. It states that publishing sexually explicit material of another person that contains or conveys the personal identification information of the depicted person to an Internet website without the depicted person’s consent, for no legitimate purpose, with the intent of causing substantial emotional distress to the depicted person and done so willfully and maliciously is a misdemeanor of the first degree. If the offense occurs a second or subsequent times, then it is deemed a felony of the 3rd degree according to Florida Statute 784.09.
A misdemeanor of the second degree carries a punishment of up to 1 year in jail or 1 year of probation or up to a $1,000 fine. A felony of the 3rd degree carries a punishment of up to 5 years in prison or 5 years of probation or up to a $5,000 fine.
Acts of Revenge Porn can also have civil penalties in addition to criminal charges. A victim can seek up to $5,000 in damages, seek an injunction against the offender as well as request attorney’s fees.
What if explicit content is shared privately, and not publicly?
What’s interesting is that the Florida Statute states that the content must be posted to an internet website. The legislature did not define exactly what constitutes an “internet website” but states that “the publication of such images on Internet websites creates a permanent record of the depicted person’s private nudity or private sexually explicit conduct.”
So where does that leave Snapchat or Instagram if a photo or video is sent to other friends or individuals but not made public? There currently isn’t much case law on this matter yet, but as technology evolves so does the law.