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Revenge Porn Laws in Georgia

“Revenge porn” has been a recent topic of conversation among Georgia lawmakers. Revenge porn refers to a trend in which someone posts sexually explicit photographs or videos of a person to the internet without that person’s permission. Revenge porn has become such an issue in Georgia that lawmakers voted unanimously to pass a bill criminalizing the act in 2014. If prosecutors are charging you with a revenge porn crime, here’s what you need to know about your rights and options.

What Does Georgia Code Section 16-11-90 Say?

The first step in formulating a criminal defense strategy for a revenge porn charge is understanding exactly what Georgia’s law says. One can find the text of the revenge porn law in the 2014 Georgia Code, Section 16-11-90. The law is within Chapter 11, Article 3 of the statutes, under “Offenses Against Public Order and Safety” and “Invasion of Privacy.” The law prohibits “nude or sexually explicit electronic transmissions” if the depicted person did not give consent. Nudity refers to the following:

  • Human female or male genitals, buttocks, or pubic area with no covering or anything less than full opaque covering.
  • Covered male genitals if they are in a “discernibly turgid state.”
  • Female breasts with no covering or anything less than full opaque covering.

Georgia Code Section 16-12-100 defines what the state views as “sexually explicit conduct.” This refers to actual or simulated sexual intercourse, bestiality, masturbation, lewd exposure of sexual organs, flagellation or torture in the nude, physical restraint of someone who is nude, physical contact of pubic areas for sexual stimulation, defecation or urination for sexual stimulation, or penetration of the vagina or rectum by any object. If caught electronically transmitting content that fits this description without the person’s consent, you could face serious criminal charges.

Penalties for Breaking Georgia’s Revenge Porn Law

Transmitting or posting content that depicts nudity or sexually explicit content of an adult as a form of harassment or revenge against said adult is a violation of Georgia’s revenge porn law. It is also against the law to post such content in a way that causes financial losses to the person in the content and serves no legitimate purpose. Violating the revenge porn law could result in a “high and aggravated” misdemeanor, punishable with possible fines and jail time.

Breaking the revenge porn law two or more times could result in a felony conviction, punishable with prison time of a minimum of one year, up to five years, and/or a fine of up to $100,000. It’s crucial to hire an experienced criminal defense attorney if you’re facing charges under Georgia Code Section 16-11-90. Without a strong defense strategy, you could end dealing with a permanent criminal record.

Possible Defenses for a Revenge Porn Charge

Georgia’s revenge porn law lists exceptions to which the code will not apply. It may be possible to escape a conviction if your transmission fulfills one of these exceptions. According to the law, it is not illegal to electronically transmit sexually explicit content of someone if the action satisfies one of the following conditions:

  • It was for activities of law enforcement or a prosecution agency during an investigation or prosecution of criminal offenses.
  • It was for legitimate medical, educational, or scientific purposes.
  • The person depicted in the content is the same one distributing the content.
  • It was a photograph or video originally created for commercial purposes.
  • The person depicted was voluntarily engaged in nudity or explicit conduct in a public setting.
  • The transmission was necessary for a civil action.

Another defense might be to prove that the defendant did not “knowingly and without the consent of the victim” transmit the material. This is the burden of proof the prosecution will have in the criminal courts. Refuting these facts with evidence that the defendant either had the victim’s permission to transmit the content or that the defendant did not intentionally send the transmission could result in the courts dismissing the charges.

If you are currently facing charges for “revenge porn” in Georgia, you need the help of an experienced sex crimes attorneyContact Jarrett Maillet J.D., P.C. today to discuss possible defense strategies for a particular case.