Southern California Man Sentenced Under State's New ‘Revenge Porn’ Law

By David McAfee

A man was found guilty and sentenced to one year in jail for allegedly posting nude photos of his ex-girlfriend on Facebook, marking the first successful conviction by the Los Angeles City Attorney under California's new “revenge porn” statute, the city attorney's office announced Dec. 1.

Noe Iniguez was accused of posting a topless photograph of his former girlfriend to her employer's Facebook page and asking that she be fired. A California state jury found Iniguez guilty of violating the state's law, which prohibits the unauthorized posting of nude or sexual images as a means to cause emotional distress, after a seven-day trial.

Judge David R. Fieldsof the Superior Court of California, County of Los Angeles, sentenced the defendant to one year in jail and three years' probation, according to Los Angeles City Attorney Mike Feuer.

“California's new revenge porn law gives prosecutors a valuable tool to protect victims whose lives and reputations have been upended by a person they once trusted,” Feuer said in a Dec. 1 statement. “This conviction sends a strong message that this type of malicious behavior will not be tolerated.”

California Passes Revenge Porn Law

In October 2013, California Gov. Jerry Brown signed into law a bill that made it illegal to post private nude photos online. The measure, S.B. 255, made it a misdemeanor for a person who photographs or records the “intimate body parts” of another person to distribute images or videos with the intent to cause serious emotional distress.

The law was later updated with language that expanded its scope to include photos taken by the victims themselves, or selfies. Brown approved the selfie amendment, which passed the Senate and Assembly unanimously, Sept. 30.

Under the 2013 revenge porn law, which amended Cal. Penal Code § 647, first-time violators could face up to six months in jail.

Charges Brought Against Defendant

Feuer said Iniguez used an alias to post “derogatory comments” about his ex-girlfriend on her employer's Facebook page in December 2013. The defendant allegedly posted a topless photo of the victim, who had already secured a restraining order against him, three months later.

Iniguez was accused of posting the inappropriate photo to the victim's employer's Facebook page, calling her “drunk” and a “slut” and asking the company to fire her. He was found guilty of three criminal counts, including two violations of the restraining order and a violation of the state's revenge porn statute.

In addition to the jail term and probation, Iniguez was also ordered to attend domestic violence counseling, according to Feuer's office.

Counsel information for the defendant wasn't immediately available.

To contact the reporter on this story: David McAfee in Los Angeles at dmcafee@bna.com

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Joseph Wright at jwright@bna.com