Is Revenge Pornography Illegal in New Mexico?
Revenge porn is becoming an increasing concern in the United States. Any time someone reveals sexual or explicit images and video of a person on the Internet, usually a former sexual partner, without his or her consent to cause emotional distress and embarrassment, they are committing the act of revenge porn.
Revenge pornography is also a form of cyber bullying. One study in 2016 found that one out of 25 Americans are the victim of a revenge porn post – or at least threatened with the act.
These acts are highly detrimental to a person’s character. In some cases, victims of revenge pornography can become severely depressed or even commit suicide due to the sheer embarrassment. Before, it was assumed that the act of revenge porn was relatively low, which is why many states had not enacted laws prohibiting it. When it is not against the law, the person that posts these images cannot be arrested.
Today, lawmakers have caught onto the real threats of this damaging act. That is why many states, including New Mexico, are working to create harsh punishments for offenders of this crime.
Is Revenge Porn Illegal in the State?
Several laws are currently underway, and it is likely that a strong policy will be enacted in 2017 or 2018. Most lawmakers in the state are supportive of these measures. For New Mexico, any unauthorized distribution of sensitive images (including video) without the consent of the person featured in those films is a crime.
Statute NM Section 30-37A-1, enacted in 2015, states that it is a crime to distribute sensitive images without authorization. Distribution includes:
- Making publicly available
- Using electronic communications to broadcast
The person in the film or photos does not have to be identified either. Therefore, if one were to publish photos that embarrass a former sexual partner, he or she has still committed a crime even if they did not disclose their victim’s identity.
Criteria to be Convicted
To be convicted of this crime, your intentions of distributing that pornographic material are also considered. The following is considered by the prosecution when deciding if you have committed the crime of revenge porn:
- Harassing, Humiliating, or Intimidating: The courts will consider your intent. If you publish that unauthorized media of another person with the intentions of embarrassing, harassing or intimidating them, then you have broken the law.
- Incite Others to Act: Equally, if you post these forms of media to incite others to harass, humiliate, or intimate that victim, you have broken the law.
- Fear of Safety: If you cause the victim to fear for their safety or that of their loved ones, or you cause them to suffer unwanted physical contact because of your post, you are also committing a crime.
If you incite additional criminal acts against the victim, you could be charged with those crimes as well.
The Seriousness of Revenge Porn – You Need an Attorney
Do not assume that just because it is a misdemeanor, you will not face serious consequences. Revenge pornography is still a very severe charge. You may not only be charged with the unauthorized distribution. In fact, prosecutors often add other charges to serve as a reminder to the public that this type of activity is not tolerated.
Therefore, if you have been arrested or charged with distributing revenge pornography, contact an attorney immediately from New Mexico Criminal Law Offices.
Schedule your free case evaluation at 505-375-4765, or request an appointment online