(Florida Today) -- A friend alerted her to the nude photos first - he sent her a link to
a site that was displaying them. He suggested that she might want to
talk to her ex-boyfriend. The photos were posted on a pornography site
and included information that identified the 22-year-old Brevard County
At first she was in shock. Then she felt angry, desperate, and most of all helpless.
really no telling how many people have seen it," said the woman, whom
FLORIDA TODAY is not identifying to protect her privacy.
consensually obtained nude photographs is not illegal, but a bill
proposed to the state legislature by the Brevard County Sheriff's Office
would make it a third-degree felony to do so without the person's
Brevard woman didn't want to talk about how the photos were taken. BCSO
Agent Dan Ogden said the woman - who was 18 at the time - posed
willingly, though they were meant to be private. She believes the
pictures were online a year before she found them.
who is responsible for investigating Internet crimes against children,
said he gets about one call a month regarding a person in a similar
Sheriff's Office doesn't track statistics on this issue because it isn't
illegal, but such incidents aren't rare, Ogden said. Typically they
involve teenagers or young adults. "I believe it's prevalent, a lot more
than people would admit."
proposed bill would prohibit "knowing use of a computer or other device
to transmit or post any photograph or video of an individual which
depicts nudity and contains specified information relating to the
depicted individual without first obtaining the depicted person's
A person who violates the statute could be sentenced to up to five years.
Sheriff Wayne Ivey said this idea came about when they noticed a trend of these issues, but had no legal means to fight them.
life goes on, (victims) go in, they apply for a job or they're applying
for college or they're in college and someone's Google searching them
and then all these pictures are coming up," Ivey said. "It actually
creates a long-term victimization for our victims and, in fact, there's a
couple examples where the victims have been so just so overrun by it
and so depressed over it they've actually committed suicide."
For example, Canadian teen Amanda Todd posted a video on YouTube
explaining how she was bullied and blackmailed after allowing a person
to get a nude photo of her - the video went viral after she killed
Ivey felt the act warrants the penalty.
we had bullying that went on in the playground," He said. "Today's
bullying goes right into your home, it goes into your employer, it goes
across the globe. Once something's put out there, even if it's put out
there for 30 seconds, it is viral and it's unremovable."
added that part of the purpose of the bill is to raise awareness of
this issue and particularly give caution to young people.
Deputy Doug Waller said this bill is supported by the Brevard County
Chief's Association, State Attorney Phil Archer, Attorney General Pam
Bondi and the Florida Sheriff's Association.
Tom Goodsen, who is working to get the bill to the floor of the state
legislature, expressed optimism that the bill will become law this year.
"I think this is a good bill, I think it's a needed bill, so I don't see a lot of issues with it not passing," he said.
Goodsen said he wasn't trying to take a moral stand.
not trying to address the nude picture issue," Goodsen said. "I'm
trying to address that if you're doing this to hurt a person, if you're
doing this for malice, that's where you're breaking the law."
Attorney Jim Lake said the bill might presently be overly broad.
"I certainly understand the concern behind it, but I think this bill is written in a way that's unconstitutional," Lake said.
a Tampa lawyer who practices in the areas of media law, intellectual
property and general litigation, said one issue is that the bill would
apply even if the person in question isn't naked. He gave the example of
a tourist standing next to the nude Renaissance sculpture "David," by
Michaelangelo. Under the bill, posting that photo with the person's name
would be a felony.
"The statute is much broader than I think is necessary to achieve the purpose behind it."
always going to be people that come up with extreme examples and try to
disparage the bill," State Attorney Phil Archer said. He pointed out
that the proposed statute will go through a vetting process in the
Legislature and the precise language may change.
don't have a right to put out naked photographs of somebody else on the
Internet without their permission," Archer said, adding "This is a
significant problem, especially for our youth."
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