We have all heard about it. We may have even seen it: that instance when a scorned lover posts nude or sexually graphic photos of their ex without permission to the internet. There is no excuse for this behavior and the Texas Legislature is seeking to protect victims of so-called “revenge porn” and hopes to deter such acts by creating both criminal and civil remedies.
Thus, Texas Legislature in this past session passed new laws providing civil and criminal penalties for this behavior. The new law goes into effect on 9/1/2015. Prior acts are not actionable under this new law.
It is time for parents to have those discussions with their kids about what amounts to violations of this law, anyone over the age of 17 is subject to consent laws, and a charge like this is no way to start out a young life.
The Relationship Privacy Act (SB 1135) provides:
“Section 98B.002: A defendant is liable, as provided by this chapter, to a person depicted in intimate visual material for damages arising from promotion of the material if the defendant knowingly or intentionally engaged in conduct that violates Section 21.16(c), Penal Code, with respect to the material.
- Section 98B.003: A claimant who prevails in a suit under this chapter shall be awarded: actual damages, including damages for mental anguish even if an injury other than mental anguish is not shown; court costs; and reasonable attorney’s fees. In addition to an award under Subsection (a), a claimant who prevails in a suit under this chapter may recover exemplary damages.
- Section 98B.004: A court in which a suit is brought under this chapter, on the motion of a party, may issue a temporary restraining order or a temporary or permanent injunction to restrain and prevent the promotion of intimate visual material with respect to the person depicted in the material.
- Section 98B.005: The cause of action created by this chapter is cumulative of any other remedy provided by common law or statute.
- Section 98B.006: A person who engages in conduct described by section 98B.002 and is found liable of damages arising from that conduct is jointly and severally liable with any other defendant for the entire amount of damages arising from that conduct.
- Section 98B.007: This chapter shall be liberally construed and applied to promote it’s underlying purpose to protect persons from, and provide adequate remedies to victims of, promotion of intimate visual material. This chapter does not apply to a claim brought against an interactive computer service, as defined by 47 U.S.C. Section 230, for a disclosure consisting of intimate visual material provided by another person. Chapter 21, Penal Code, is amended by adding Section 21.16 to read as follows:
- A person commits an offense if: without the effective consent of the depicted person, the person intentionally discloses visual material depicting another person engaged in sexual conduct; the visual material was obtained by the person or created under circumstances in which the depicted person had a reasonable expectation that the visual material would remain private; the disclosure of the visual material causes harm to the depicted person; and the disclosure of the visual material reveals the identity of the depicted person in or material related to the visual material and information or material provided by a third party in response to the person’s disclosure of the visual material. A person commits an offense if, knowing the character and content of the visual material, the person promotes visual material described by Subsection (b) on an Internet website or other forum for publication that is owned or operated by the person. It is not a defense to prosecution under this section that the depicted person: created or consented to the creation of the visual material; or voluntarily transmitted the visual material to the actor. It is an affirmative defense to the prosecution under this section that the disclosure or promotion is made in the course of: lawful and common practices of law enforcement or medical treatment; reporting unlawful activity; or a legal proceeding, if the disclosure or promotion is permitted or required by law; the disclosure or promotion consists of visual material depicting only a voluntary exposure of sexual conduct in a public or commercial setting; or the actor is an interactive computer service, as defined by 47 U.S.C. Section 230, and the disclosure or promotion consists of visual material provided by another person. An offense under this section is a Class A misdemeanor. If conduct that constitutes an offense under this section also constitutes an offense under another law, the actor may be prosecuted under this section, the other law, or both.”
If you or a loved one are the victims of Revenge Porn, contact our law office. We are ready to prepare a case against the offender.