The First Person Convicted Of "Revenge Porn" In California Will Be Behind Bars For A Year

A Los Angeles man, Noe Iniguez, has the dubious distinction of being the first convicted under California’s new law against “revenge porn,” which involves publishing nude, sexual images of another person in order to humiliate them or retaliate against them. Iniguez was sentenced to a year behind bars and 36 months of probation for violating a restraining order and posting a topless photo of his ex-girlfriend on her employer’s Facebook page in an attempt to get her fired.

The poor girl.

According to the Los Angeles City Attorney’s office, Iniguez had embarked on a sustained harassment campaign after their four-year relationship ended. He sent nasty text messages, prodding her to seek a restraining order in November 2011 – which he clearly ignored. Finally, the shunned lover sought to defame her by using an alias to post a topless photo on her employer's Facebook page and send the employer a message calling her a “slut” and a “drunk.” In the March 2014 message, Iniguez encouraged the employer to fire her.

Iniguez’s horrible behavior is part and parcel of a growing trend of revenge porn postings that the California state legislature sought to counteract with its 2013 law. (A further thirteen states have since followed California and New Jersey’s example by passing laws against revenge postings.)

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State Sen. Anthony Cannella (R) introduced the original bill of the anti-revenge porn law. In response to Iniguez’s conviction, the state senator told The Huffington Post that he was glad to see the law put into action:

As technology evolves, it is important that government act to protect our citizens from new types of crime, and while I'm sad these crimes exist, I am happy to see my legislation doing what it's supposed to do — protecting victims, Cannella said in an email.

According to Los Angeles city attorney Mike Feuer, whose office prosecuted the case, Iniguez’s example should discourage others from sharing nude photos online to intentionally shame others.

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 statement. This conviction sends a strong message that this type of malicious behavior will not be tolerated.

But advocates against the proliferation of revenge porn caution that California’s new law doesn’t cover the majority of revenge porn abuses because it excludes photos that the victims have taken themselves. The “selfie” is still fair game for all sorts of abusive sharing without your knowledge or say-so. And according to a study conducted by the Cyber Civil Rights Initiative, 80 percent of nudey pics posted online without the subject’s permission were self-taken.

Add to the mix that California’s law can do nothing against the third-party websites that allow these angry exes to upload their exploitative photos. While California might celebrate a successful first test case for its ban, the law still leaves quite a bit to be desired when it comes to holding accountable both the spurned boyfriends that seek to exploit and shame women by spreading their nude images online and the websites that enable them.

Images: Getty Images (3)