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Revenge Porn

NY’S FIRST REVENGE PORN CASE DISMISSED

February 21, 2014

Good news for all you vindictive exes out there thanks to yesterday’s dismissal in New York State’s first revenge porn case.

The Daily News broke the story: charges against Ian Barber of Bed-Stuy, Brooklyn were dropped after a Manhattan judge declared that Barber didn’t break any criminal laws when he posted naked pictures of his girlfriend on his Twitter account. The humiliation that resulted from this act didn’t end there, as Barber proceeded to send the photos to his girlfriend’s mother and her boss.

All three charges (aggravated harassment, dissemination of unlawful surveillance and public display of offensive sexual material) were dropped. According to The Daily News, the judge found that these acts weren’t harassment because it wasn’t sent directly to the victim; wasn’t unlawful surveillance because they were legally obtained; and “nudity alone does not equal offensive sexual material, a count that also requires public display, which doesn’t include a subscription service like Twitter.”

I’m sorry–twitter is a subscription service? How is it a subscription when anyone can join for free? In fact, at least 170 million people have done so. 170 million people could potentially see these posted pictures. How is this not public display?

This is a great case for the DA to appeal. We hope they do. In the mean time, Albany must pass those proposed laws criminalizing Barber and his ilk for posting sexual pictures without consent of the subject.

Also, it’s important to remember that although the criminal court dismissed the case, that is not to say that the same would happen in civil court where there are different standards of proof and law. So although Barber’s behavior was not found criminal, that does not make it lawful.

A quick search on ecourts reveals that this is a busy week for Barber. He’ll be in Kings Criminal Term in front of Judge Brennan on Feb 25th. I might go. And if I do, I’ll be sure to tweet some pics of him.