Woman convicted for 'revenge porn' after sending out sexual photos of ex-fiance's lover | Inquirer News

Woman convicted for ‘revenge porn’ after sending out sexual photos of ex-fiance’s lover

/ 04:49 PM April 29, 2021
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A woman from Illinois, United States was found guilty of violating a state law against “revenge porn” after she sent out sexually explicit photos of her ex-fiance’s lover.

Bethany Austin, 43, was charged for the said law in McHenry County last Monday, April 26, Chicago Tribune reported on the same day.

The case dates back to 2016, when Austin was about to get married to a man that she dated for seven years. The couple had a joint Apple iCloud account and could see the messages that the other received.

At the time, Austin discovered that her fiance was receiving sexually revealing photos and texts from another woman. The couple later called off their wedding plans and broke up.

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After the breakup, Austin sent out the photos to family and friends with a letter explaining why her marriage was called off. But the man’s lover told police that the pictures were meant to be private.

Circuit judge Michael Coppedge ruled that while the letter was understandable, sending the photos to other people violated the victim’s privacy.

“It is wrong because exposing a person’s body against her will fundamentally denies that person of their right to privacy,” Coppedge was quoted as saying.

The charge was initially thrown out by a county judge, stating that disseminating the sexual images was part of free speech. But the Illinois Supreme Court ruled in 2019 that the action was not protected by the law. It also noted that there are thousands of “revenge porn” materials that are circulating on websites and it has become a “staggering” problem.

Violating Illinois’ state law against revenge porn is considered a class 4 felony. Austin could face probation or one to three years of prison time as punishment for the crime. She will be allowed to remain free on bond as she awaits her sentence on June 24. Dana Cruz/JB

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TAGS: breakup, Illinois, porn, privacy, revenge porn
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