The state of Illinois recently passed what many legal analysts say is the toughest revenge porn law in the country. The governor has signed the law, which makes it a felony to post sexual videos or photos of another person online without his or her permission. The new law goes into effect June 1, 2015.
Although there are currently revenge porn laws currently in effect in 16 other states, the Illinois law is considered the strongest because of the following reasons:
- It does not matter what the defendant’s motive was in posting the photos. Some of the other state’s laws require that the offender had intent to cause emotional distress to the victim, but the Illinois law concerns itself only with the harm that is done to the victim, not what the intent of the offender was.
- The Illinois law includes "selfies." In other words, if the photo the offender posts is actually one the victim took of themselves, they can still be prosecuted.
- The Illinois law has the strongest punishment compared to other state’s penalties. Non-consensual nudity is a Class 4 felony in Illinois and is punishable by one to three years in prison, fines of up to $2,500, and restitution to the victim. There is also a provision that requires forfeiture of any profits the offender may have received from posting the photos.
- Unlike some of the other states’ laws which require exposure of a victim’s sexual parts, the Illinois law does not require the victim to be nude in order for the photo to be considered non-consensual pornography.
- The Illinois law not only punishes the originating offender, but also allows for charges to be filed against any secondary parties from forwarding or reposting the photos.
- The Illinois law very clearly recognizes the First Amendment and does not apply to photos which are published for "lawful public purpose."
- The Illinois revenge porn law can be applied to images where not only the victim’s face is identified, but also when any other identifying information is published.
An accusation of any kind of sex crime can destroy a person’s reputation and cause irreparable damage. If you have been arrested for a sex crime, contact an aggressive Arlington Heights, IL criminal defense attorney to help defend you against these charges.