Revenge Porn, Online Harassment, Sextortion & Cyberbullying Protection

Whether online or offline, there are few experiences more harrowing and violative than victimization at the hands, or keyboard, of an internet harasser, sextorter, or cyberbully. Whether your Revenge Porn attorney looks to New York City Administrative Code 10-180, Unlawful Disclosure of an Intimate Image, or New York Penal Law 245.15, Unlawful Dissemination or Publication of an Intimate Image, when an ex-lover posts or threatens to share unauthorized and non-consensual intimate images with the intent to embarrass, defame, ridicule or harass you, he or she is well aware of the potential magnitude of your despair. What your tormentor may not know, however, is that with the right counsel and advocacy, you will not succumb to victimization no matter what he or she emails to colleagues and employers, uploads to Instagram, posts on YouTube, uploads to PornHub, shares on Facebook or simply spreads online for Google, Yahoo and other search engines to pick up. With the right Cyber Stalking lawyer you will take the steps to file a DMCA Takedown Notice, remove the naked images from search engines and social media, obtain an Order of Protection, sue for punitive damages and the infliction of emotional distress, and seek to have your tormentor prosecuted by a District Attorney. Simply, your online and internet harasser will not escape responsibility for his or her cowardly acts.

From emailing, or threatening to send, naked or sexual videos and recordings to family members, co-workers and friends, to uploading and sharing private and personal intimate, naked and sexual pictures to social media platforms such as Instagram, YouTube, Tumblr, Reddit, Facebook, Snapchat, Twitter, Pinterest, WhatsApp, and even adult sites such as XVideo or Redtube, the consequences of an online abuser’s actions are often as widespread as they are debilitating. No matter if intimate images are illegally shared on Google Drives or are on lesser known websites including Fail Blog, FMyLife, Periscope, or TextsFromLastNight, you need not submit nor surrender to this malicious behavior. With the aid of legal counsel versed in New York State and City’s Revenge Porn law, Stalking in violation of Penal Law 120.45, 120.50 or 120.55, Blackmail and Extortion in violation of Penal Law 155.05(2)(e), 155.30(6) or 155.40(2), Dissemination of an Unlawful Surveillance Image in violation of Penal Law 250.55 and 250.60, Unlawful Surveillance in violation of Penal Law 250.45 and 250.50, and other crimes, not only can you fight back, but you can win.

Preserving Evidence: Protecting Yourself and Holding Your Abuser Accountable

No, you don’t want to see it. You certainly don’t want to watch it. What you need to do, however, is preserve “it,” whatever “it” may be. As quick and easy as a screenshot, preferably including the URL, preserving the intimate image, video, picture, or other nonconsensual explicit post is critical. Without it you may lose the ability to tie your harasser to the upload unless, of course, it is sent directly to someone who knows him or her. Moreover, if he or she removes the offending material and puts it up somewhere else, you may not know and wrongfully believe it is gone only to learn a few days later that it is now on an overseas website. Whether your lawyer assists you in the preservation process is something you can discuss once you retain him or her, but do not fail to record the evidence that you will need to hold your ex-boyfriend, ex-girlfriend or other online cyber harasser accountable in a Criminal Court, Family Court, Civil Court or other forum.

Restoring Your Privacy: From Search Engine and Social Media Removal to DMCA Takedowns

Once adequately preserved, you need not wait and let the Revenge Porn linger. With the aid of your online harassment lawyer you can contact the search engines – Google, Bing, Yahoo, AOL, Ask – or the social media platforms to remove unauthorized images and videos reflecting you engaged in sex, naked, partially exposed or other explicit imagery posted and shared without your consent that may be “owned” by you due to copyright laws. Further, even without their assistance, your team of advocates can seek the removal of images and videos of your breasts, genitals or other intimate body parts by way of a DMCA Takedown based on a theory of copyright.

Using the Penal Law and Criminal Code: Prosecuting Unauthorized Porn Proliferators

Depending on the cowardly nature of your online predator’s conduct, his or her posting, uploading and sharing of sexually explicit pictures, videos and recordings without your consent is criminal. While both New York City and State codified and criminalized Revenge Porn, there are related offenses in the criminal code that may provide the foundation for the prosecution and arrest of your harasser. As such, victims can use the criminal justice system to fight back against sextortion and other internet abuse. Although the law does allow any complainant to file charges with the NYPD or other local or county police without assistance, victim representation in the criminal context by and through knowledgeable counsel can have tremendous benefits from potentially expediting prosecutions, presenting cases directly to prosecutors in lieu of going to the police, and best keeping personal matters out of public view. Irrespective of how you proceed, the following are some of the potential offenses your tormentor may face:

Sextortion and Blackmail

While no offense called “Sextortion” exists, Extortion is codified in Penal Law 155.05(2)(e). Pursuant to Penal Law 155.30(6), Fourth Degree Grand Larceny, is the lowest of these crimes and is nonetheless a class “E” felony. Depending on the degree of the offense, a defendant can face up to four, seven, fifteen or even 25 years in prison.

Although slightly different than cyber-blackmailing where one party seeks money or property from the other, Coercion laws protect individuals from being forced to act or not behave in a way they are legally entitled. Depending what your sextorter demands in connection to the reproduction and distribution of intimate images without your consent, he or she may violate the class “A” misdemeanor or class “D” felony of Penal Law 135.60 and 135.65 respectively with the potential penalties of one year in jail or seven years in prison.

Revenge Porn

New York City’s and State’s Revenge Porn law are codified as Penal Law 245.15, Unlawful Dissemination or Publication of an Intimate Image, and Unlawful Disclosure of an Intimate Image, NYC Administrative Code 10-180 (sometimes seen as AC 10-177*3), respectively. These offenses may not be felonies but the statutes allow for misdemeanor prosecutions as well as victims to bring lawsuits against those who violate their trust even where the portrayed person initially consented to a sexual recording. Your harasser’s conduct is still illegal, and your abuser can face a lawsuit not only if he or she posts the images to cause you harm and does so without your permission, but threatens to do the same.

Unlawful Surveillance and Dissemination: Whether online or off, Dissemination of an Unlawful Surveillance Image, Penal Law 250.55 and 250.60, is a potentially misdemeanor or felony offense assuming the images posted were secured without your consent in violation of Penal Law 250.45 or 250.50, Unlawful Surveillance. Although the law is more precise in its language, if a person records you without authorization while having sex or captures intimate images of your body and does so for profit, amusement or sexual arousal, then he or she would face up to a year in jail. Similarly, if the images are then shared or published, the District Attorney could charge the accused with the dissemination statute.

Other Crimes and Offenses

In addition to the above crimes, a person who perpetrates these types of offenses could potentially face numerous other offenses depending on the nature of their conduct. For example, Stalking in the Fourth Degree, Penal Law 120.45, Aggravated Harassment in the Second Degree and Penal Law 240.30 are potential offenses law enforcement can pursue in the criminal justice arena.

Whether a criminal record and incarceration is your goal, a Criminal Court Order of Protection is something you demand, prying open the bank account of the person who violated your trust, or all options are on the table, the Sextortion lawyers and former Manhattan Assistant District Attorneys at Crotty Saland PC can not only build a case and package it to the District Attorney’s Office in lieu of leaving it with the local police, but our Revenge Porn lawyers can maintain your privacy while best determining what crimes or violations are applicable to your specific circumstance.

Penalties and Punishment: Criminal Court Sanctions

Generally, most of the offenses involving these acts of humiliation and degradation are either class “A” misdemeanors or class “E” felonies. As such, if convicted of the misdemeanor, the potential sentence is up to one year jail in a county or city facility. A finding of guilt for one of these felonies can land you in prison for as long as four years. Although there is a variation as to length of time, probation is also an option for a sentencing judge as is a conditional charge.

Using the Civil Courts: Making You Whole and Punitive Damages

When you are “slut shamed” across the internet, intentionally humiliated, disparaged as a “whore” online, and your private intimate pictures or videos are spread across the internet or to family, friends, or colleagues, there is recourse outside the criminal justice system. Because of the emotional, financial and other tolls it takes to find and remove explicit images, your unnecessary exposure to immense emotional distress, and the impact of the unlawful distribution to your reputation and career, you can attack your violator’s wallet, pocket book or bank account through civil remedies and lawsuits. Whether you want to punish your abuser’s finances or rightfully seek compensation through punitive damages, you can do so. In fact, outside of injunctive relief and damages, the courts can also award you legal fees.

Orders of Protection and Restraining Orders: Criminal Court and Family Court Options

While a District Attorney will likely ask a Criminal Court Judge to issue an Order of Protection, if your abuser is not arrested because you decide not to report the Cyber Stalking or pornographic related harassment, you can still secure a Restraining Order. If your online tormentor is a person with whom you had an intimate relationship as defined by law, you should be able pursue a Family Court Order of Protection pursuant to Article 8, Section 842, of the New York Family Court Act. Crotty Saland PC’s Restraining Order attorneys can examine the evidence, draft the petition and best make sure your ex is served and answerable for his or her misconduct. Depending on certain factors reflected in the petition and evidence you present, a Family Court may grant you an Order of Protection for up to two or five years. Remember, whether issued in the Criminal or Family Court, a Stay Away Order has the same full force and effect. In fact, if the terms are violated your harasser can face misdemeanor or felony Criminal Contempt.

Online Harassment & Cyber Bullying Protection: Take a Stand, Take Control, You’re your Victimization Now

While fear may lead to paralysis, know that you have options to end your victimization. With the right legal advisor experienced in the Penal Law, Family Law, and statutes both civil and criminal relating to Revenge Porn, Cyber Bullying, Sextortion and other offenses, the man or woman who preyed upon you through deceit and terror will soon become exposed as a frightened and weak coward.

Day or night, Crotty Saland PC’s attorneys, armed with their experience as criminal lawyers and former Manhattan prosecutors, are ready to stand by your side, fight to remove your private and explicit images from the internet, provide you with the financial compensation you deserve, and hold your abuser accountable in the legal manner you demand.

You’ve done nothing wrong. You are underserving of shame. You are not a victim. Stand up tall. Now is the time to act and fight back.

Call the New York victim advocates and former NYC prosecutors at (212) 312-7129 or contact us online today.

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