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Revenge Porn

Revenge porn often involves photography that is non-consensually distributed online. Normally, revenge porn revolves around a scorned or disgruntled ex-partner tying to humiliate the victim. A case of revenge porn can be revealing photos, videos, and intimate information about the victim shared without permission.

Sharing intimate images or videos to intimidate, harass, or embarrass another person is considered an illegal offense in Florida. The person accused of the crime can be charged with sexual cyber harassment and can possibly face a civil or criminal lawsuit for causing intentional emotional distress.

Sadly, it is impossible to completely delete intimate material from the internet once it is shared. Revenge websites exist in the underground internet. An ex revenge website will often download and republish the images over and over again. If you have been charged with revenge porn, it is critical that you contact a criminal defense attorney.

Gainesville Attorneys for Revenge Porn in Florida

Revenge porn or cyberharassment is a serious offense that with certain circumstances can change into a felony charge. The attorneys at Galigani Law Firm represent individuals accused of publishing revenge porn online. We understand sexual cyberharassment laws and have had many revenge porn cases with promising results.

Galigani Law Firm is experienced in Florida criminal defense laws. Our attorneys understand how complex revenge porn cases can be and want to help you navigate this legal process. A person whose been charged with revenge porn is more likely to escape penalty if they retain silence and legal representation. The attorneys at Galigani Law Firm can help create a strong formidable offense to combat your cyberharassment charges. We are practiced in criminal defense, with our firm manager being Board Certified in Criminal Law by the Florida Bar's Certification Board. An honor that less than 1 percent of Florida criminal defense lawyers have after passing a difficult examination composed by the Florida Bar's Certification Board.  Put yourself in the best hands with Galigani Law Firm.

Galigani Law Firm represents individuals charged with cyberharassment throughout the greater Eighth Judicial Circuit area and surrounding counties including Starke in Bradford County, Lake City in Columbia County, Ocala in Marion County, Bronson in Levy County, Trenton in Gilchrist County, Lake Butler in Union County, Macclenny in Baker County, and Gainesville in Alachua County.

Call (352) 375-0812 or submit an online contact form today for a free consultation to discuss your charges today.

Overview of Revenge Porn in Florida


Revenge Porn Defined under Florida Law

The term "revenge porn" is not actually stated in Florida legislation. Florida Statute 784.049 defines "revenge porn" as "sexual cyberharassment." There are certain elements that the prosecution must prove to convict the accused of sexual cyberharassment.

The elements that the prosecutor must prove beyond all reasonable doubt include:

  • The defendant published a sexually explicit image of a person;
  • The defendant acted in a willful and malicious way;
  • The defendant acted with intent of causing substantial emotional distress to a depicted person;
  • The image shared contained or conveyed the personal identification information of the depicted person to an internet website;
  • The image was published without the depicted person's consent; and
  • The image was published for no legitimate purpose.

Many revenge porn victims suffer from the phenomenon called "doxing." The term "doxing" is refers to malicious and intentionally distributing identifying information about the victim on the internet.

In addition to sharing their information, a doxer will ask other online users to harass the victim either by phone, email, or contacting their families and friends. Doxing can be used for extortion purposes.


Definitions in the Sexual Cyberharassment Statute

A "sexually explicit image" defined under Florida law is an image depicting nudity or a person engaged in simulated or real time sexual conduct. An image that depicts nudity shows enumerated parts or areas of the human body uncovered or donned with see-through material. Body parts that are considered sexual are male or female pubic area, genitals, buttocks, or the female breast or nipples.

The element of the image "being published for no legitimate purpose" in Florida's sexual cyberharassment statute entails that the offender intended to cause substantial emotional distress. For a person to be convicted of sexual cyberharassment the evidence must show they did so to upset or humiliate the victim.

To be considered guilty of revenge porn a person must publish the intimate material with "personal identification information."  The term "personal identification information" is defined under Florida Statute 784.049 as identifying information of the person depicted in the sexually explicit image. This personal information can include the depicted person's name, phone number, social media accounts, date of birth, security number, and other classifying information.


Penalties for Revenge Porn in Florida

A person charged with sexual cyberharassment can face a negative social stigma and serious legal consequences. Anyone charged with a revenge porn offense may face fines and possible jail time.

  • First Offense: In Florida, a first time offender convicted for sexual cyberharassment is a first-degree misdemeanor. A first-degree misdemeanor is punishable up to one year in jail, one year of probation, and up to $1,000 in fines.
  • Second Offense: A second time offense for sexual cyberharassment is a third-degree felony in Florida. Third-degree felonies are publishable by up to five years in prison, five years of probation, and up to $5,000 in fines.

Defenses for Sexual Cyberharassment

In addition to the general pretrial and trial defenses that can be raised in any criminal case, below are some formidable defenses that can be used in a sexual cyberharassment case include:

  • Non-Publication – A sexual cyberharassment conviction requires for the distribution of the intimate material to be on an internet website. Transmitting the information through text message, Skype, Facebook Messenger, or other non-internet messaging platforms does not constitute sexual cyberharassment.
  • Legitimate Purpose – If a legitimate purpose is established for publishing the intimate material then the image distribution is legal. The legitimate purpose must be artistic, medical, or investigative to be considered viable. Humiliation and revenge are not a legitimate purpose.
  • Unreasonable Duress – If the publication of the sexually explicit image does not cause substantial emotional distress, it does not constitute the crime of sexual cyberharassment. A strong defense may prove that the sexually explicit image did not result in any sort of humiliation or embarrassment.

Revenge Porn in Florida Civil Courts

Sometimes revenge porn will be filed as civil action against the accused. A person who violates Florida legislature's sexual cyberharassment statute and has a claim filed against them may have to compensate for the following.

  • Attorney fees and costs;
  • Injunctive relief to remove the images off the internet as much as possible; and
  • Monetary damages to include $5,000 or actual damages incurred as a result of a violation of this section, whichever is greater.

Tips to Prevent Revenge Porn Charges

Any person who is planning to exchange or receive sexual explicit images with their partner may want to take steps to protect themselves legally. It is a good idea to create and sign a confidentiality agreement that outlines where it is allowed to share images or not beforehand.

Having open communication with your partner about how they feel regarding distributing intimate material is important. Note, that once you have posted images on the internet it is incredibly difficult or even impossible to delete them in their entirety.


Additional Resources

Cyber Civil Rights Initiative – Visit the Cyber Civil Rights Initiative is a nonprofit organization that serves thousands of cyberharassment victims around the world and advocating for technological, social, and legal innovation to fight online abuse. See legal information about the distribution of intimate images without consent, Florida cyberharassment laws, information about revenge websites, and frequently asked questions regarding revenge porn.

Florida Statute 784.049 – Visit the website of Florida Legislature and read the statute regarding sexual cyberharassment. See the specifics on Florida revenge porn laws, the penalties that go along with it, and the definitions for legal terms.

Clay Calvery Comments on Revenge Porn Cases – Visit the University of Florida's College of Journalism and Communications website and read an article regarding Clay Calvert. See how the director of the University of Florida College and Communications thoughts on revenge porn and the lack of federal laws protecting victims and legal recourse.


Find an Attorney for Sexual Cyberharassment Charges in Florida

Have you been charged with sexual cyberharassment in the North Central Florida area? It is important that you remain silent and gain legal representation as soon as possible.

The attorneys at Galigani Law Firm are practiced in criminal defense. We have handled many sexual cyberharassment cases with positive results. Our attorneys are have over twenty years of experience in criminal defense cases and have been members of prestigious law groups such as the Florida Association of Criminal Defense Attorneys (FACDL), the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (NACDL), and the 8th Judicial Circuit Bar Administration. We understand Florida cyberharassment laws and want to preserve your civil rights.

Galigani Law Firm have accepted clients throughout the greater Gainesville-Lake City metropolitan area including surrounding counties such as Columbia County, Baker County, Bradford County, Alachua County, Marion County, and Levy County.

Our attorneys have handled cases involving law enforcement officials including Gainesville Police Department, University of Florida Police Department (UFPD), Alachua County Sheriff's Office, Trenton Police Department, Lake City Police Department, Baker County Sheriff's Department, Starke Police Department, Bronson Police Department, Ocala Police Department, Bradford County Sheriff's Office, Levy County Sheriff's Office, and the Alachua County Sheriff's Office.

Do not let your reputation suffer a moment longer. Dial (352) 375-0812 or submit an online contact form for a free consultation for your case today.


This article was last updated by Jordan Anderson, on June 27th, 2018.