Although the internet gives you the opportunity to look up the law to avoid breaking it, online connectivity also facilitates plenty of criminal activity. For example, with just a few taps of your finger, you can potentially commit an internet sex crime without ever intending to break the law.
If you have videos or photographs of someone else in a state of undress or engaged in intimate acts and you share those images without permission, you could face criminal charges. Specifically, you will face charges for the unlawful dissemination of images of another.
Revenge porn is a misdemeanor in Virginia
Sharing private images or videos of someone else without their consent is an act that people call revenge porn. Publishing revenge porn or sharing pictures with people’s co-workers or family became so commonplace that lawmakers had to start cracking down on those distributing images with the intent of shaming or harming others.
While you may have obtained the video or photo with consent or without even requesting them, you can not show them to others or upload them online without risking a Class 1 misdemeanor charge. Even if someone allows you to take their picture or record a video with them in it, you cannot distribute those videos or images without their express consent. Otherwise, you could face criminal charges when the person in the images or videos finds out that you have shared them.
The penalties include up to 12 months in jail and up to $2,5000 in fines. Understanding when your actions may cross the line and become an internet sex crime can help you preserve your good reputation even when coping with the intense emotions of a breakup or divorce.