NFL Player Hit With Revenge Porn Charges

Revenge Porn, or nonconsensual porn, has been in the news all too often lately. Most often it’s a case of a jilted lover – someone far from the public eye – posting pictures of an ex to a website or social media, or sending pictures to friends in order to embarrass or harm the other party.

ny-jetsThis week a much higher profile story is playing out. Professional football player Jermaine Cunningham is scheduled to appear in New Jersey court Wednesday on charges that include the allegation that he sent nude pictures of a woman to her friends and family.

That the case is happening in new Jersey is significant; New Jersey had the country’s first Revenge Porn law dating back 11 years. Currently, 17 states have a law banning the act, and some believe Federal legislation could come as early as this year.

The path to a Federal law will not be easy, as free speech defenders are likely to form a stiff opposition as they are currently doing in Arizona. At issue is the fact that if you willingly give me a nude picture, it is mine and I can do with it what I want. Current state laws generally (and correctly) deal with this by considering the intent of the suspect. If me sending or posting the picture was meant to cause harm, I could be found guilty.

It goes without saying that if Cunningham sent the naked pictures as alleged, he will face penalties handed down by the court and additionally his career could be at risk. The NFL has been much more active lately in penalizing players for off-the-field conduct. Cunningham’s lawyer has claimed that he will be fully exonerated.

Obviously if the pictures had never been taken in the first place, all of this could have been avoided. The victim’s reputation and feelings have been damaged and whatever punishment is handed down, the act can’t be taken back.

When one or both consenting adults act badly, there is not much that can be done after the fact. With teens and tweens, we have a fantastic opportunity to warn and educate before sexting and potentially Revenge Porn become an issue.

 

 

 

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