Fighting Back Against Revenge Porn in New York: Family Court Approach

There are numerous legal means to fight back against Sextortion, Cyber Stalking, Online Harassment and Revenge Porn in New York City and New York State when a malicious ex uploads and distributes sexual images, naked photos and explicit videos online to Instagram, Reddit, Facebook, and other social media platforms and websites without your consent. Although limited in terms of who can pursue an Order of Protection, Restraining Order or Stay Away Order to those currently or previously involved in an intimate relationship or members of the same family, you need not entangle yourself in the New York criminal justice system when confronting an ex-spouse, partner, lover, boyfriend, girlfriend, or affair. Yes, your online privacy attorney can advocate on your behalf directly to the District Attorney in the county where you reside – Brooklyn, Queens, Manhattan, Westchester, Rockland – but your Sextortion lawyer can also file a petition in the Family Court located in that same county when your former domestic partner uses Google, Bing, Yahoo and the internet itself as a weapon to inflict horrific pain.

Simply, when online privacy is crucial to your mental health and career, and your harasser, stalker, sextorter, or other internet victimizer illegally discloses, shares, or distributes intimate images online or to family, friends and business associates, all legal options should be on the table. There is no reason why you should suffer at the hands or keyboard of a coward. Whether by Blackmail, Revenge Porn or any other online or offline humiliation and abuse, you have options. The New York Family Court Act is one of many weapons in your proverbial arsenal to stop the viral spread of and shame associated with Revenge Porn.

Fighting Back Against Revenge Porn & Sextortion: Benefits of Family Court Restraining Orders

While pursuing justice through the Family Court system in New York is civil, not criminal, there are numerous advantages to filing a Family Court petition for an Order of Protection. One reason is because the potential turnaround time to draft and file an Article 8 Petitioner, as well as a court’s granting of your Restraining Order, may be the quickest means to stop a proliferator of Revenge Porn. Moreover, while initially civil in nature, a violation of a Restraining Order from Family Court is potentially criminal and provide you with the means to prosecute the violator.

Despite a Family Court Order of Protection’s value, it is imperative to fully understand what a Restraining Order can and cannot do for you in the realm of Revenge Porn, Cyber Stalking, Sextortion and Online Harassment. Will a Stay Away Order strip the internet of embarrassing Revenge Porn? No. Will an Order of Protection restore your internet privacy. Absolutely not. Because of these deficiencies, a Restraining Order may serve immediate and significant protection against a relentless campaign of harassment online, but you should also identify how your Online Harassment attorney can advocate on your behalf through other means if necessary including presenting a criminal case to the District Attorney for prosecution, filing a DMC Takedown Notice to remove offending intimate and sexual images from the internet, reaching out to search engines and social media platforms, and filing a law suit against your tormentor to hold him or her financially accountable.

Fighting Back Against Revenge Porn & Sextortion: Family Offenses & Restraining Orders

Assuming that you qualify for protection by a New York Family Court because of your domestic, familial or intimate relationship, the conduct of your abuser – his or her posting and sharing of Revenge Porn and other Blackmail or Sextortion acts – must fit within the limited scope of New York Family Court Act 812. This section of the Family Court Act stipulates the types of “crimes,” aka, Family Offenses, that if true, give rise to the legal basis for a judge’s issuance of an Order of Protection.

Instead of addressing each offense, you can do so with your Restraining Order attorney, there are certain “crimes” that fall within the purview of the Family Court in the Revenge Porn and Sextortion context. These offenses include, but are not limited to:

Third and Fourth Degree Grand Larceny: If the intent and basis of posting and sharing sexual, intimate or naked images and videos online, or threatening to do the same, is to get you to cough up money, and you in fact do so, then your violator likely committed New York Penal Law 155.05(2)(e)(ix). Why? Clearly there is no material benefit to the poster to share your explicit pictures and infringe on your internet privacy. Simply, in doing so, it is overwhelmingly likely that his or her acts were intended to and will cause great harm to your reputation, livelihood, mental health, etc. No matter what you pay out to stop this unauthorized sending of intimate, sexual and naked videos to colleagues, family or friends, New York Penal Law 155.30(6), Fourth Degree Grand Larceny by Extortion, is committed. As such, you would have the ability to secure an Order of Protection in Family Court because of the past or ongoing Blackmail, aka, Sextortion.

Second Degree Harassment: Again, when an ex-girlfriend or boyfriend, for example, posts and shares personal and explicit imagery and recordings without your consent on websites, through email to employers and family, or any other means, there is likely no legitimate purpose. The goal and objective is, at a minimum, to significantly harass, alarm and annoy you, and, at worst, crush your sense of security, happiness and life as you knew it before you learned of the uploaded videos to Pornhub, Tumblr, Facebook or Instagram. When this behavior involves a course of conduct, then your victimizer likely has run afoul of New York Penal Law 240.26(3) and the New York Family Court Act as well.

Keep in mind that there are other offenses that might provide the New York Family Court with jurisdiction such as any degree of Stalking. That said, Revenge Porn may rear its head in a manner that doesn’t run afoul of the Family Court Act, but solely the New York Penal Law or other criminal statute. Therefore, if, for example, your harasser and non-consensual poster also violates Second Degree Unlawful Surveillance, New York Penal Law 250.45, Second Degree Dissemination of an Unlawful Surveillance Image New York Penal Law 250.55, Second Aggravated Harassment, New York Penal Law 240.30, or Unlawful Disclosure of an Intimate Image, New York City Administrative Code 10-177*3, you may or may not be able to commence a case in Family Court, but criminal sanctions and arrests for these offense will likely provide you with the security – and Order of Protection – you need.

Ultimately, while you are in control of the strategy to restore your internet privacy, the Family Court may be a part of a larger tactic to put and end to Revenge Porn and Sextortion. Remember, nothing precludes you nor your Sextortion attorney to aggressively push a civil law suit, serve a cease and desist letter, seek a DMCA Takedown, or file criminal charges with the local police department or District Attorney for related Revenge Porn offenses.

No matter where you reside, Revenge Porn knows no boundaries once it is emailed, uploaded, or shared. Whether you reside in New York City, the Hudson Valley, or anywhere in the State of New York, know that you need not accept your victimization, abuse, harassment and degradation sitting down. Courage and strength, it may take, but the New York City Unlawful Disclosure lawyers and former Manhattan prosecutors at Crotty Saland PC have the knowledge and experience to grab Revenge Porn, Blackmail and Sextortion abuse by their proverbial balls, restore your internet privacy, remove compromising and intimate images from the internet, secure an Order of Protection, and tear into the bank account of a malicious perpetrator of shame.

Do not let fear hold you back. Take control. End your victimization now.

Call the New York Revenge Porn advocates, Sextortion defenders and former New York City prosecutors at (212) 312-7129 or contact us online today

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