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What Is Sexual Cyber Harassment?


If you want the Internet to barf out large volumes of shareable content in a short span of time and people to share said content frantically with the members of their families who are most averse to clickbait, just put the prefix “sex” or “cyber” in front of a common word.  Cyberbullying?  Yikes!  Sexting?  For shame!  Furthermore, when you ask anyone to define a term that relates to sexuality, most people respond with sarcastic jokes or with outrage.  What is pornography?  You know it when you see it!  From a legal perspective, the definition of sexual cyber harassment is clear, even if the crime goes by several different names in ordinary speech.  If you are being accused of threatening to share sexually explicit images without the consent of the person represented in the images, contact a West Palm Beach cybercrime lawyer.

Whether You Call It Revenge Porn or Sextortion, It’s Still a Crime

Florida Statute Section 836.05 defines the crime of extortion, in which a defendant uses threats to coerce a victim to do something to which the victim would not ordinarily consent, such as giving the defendant money or falsely accusing a third party of a crime.  Extortion can cover a wide range of coercive actions and stem from a wide range of motives.  Among other things, it includes sexual cyber harassment, also known as sextortion or revenge porn.  Sexual cyber harassment occurs when the victim knows or reasonably believes that the defendant possesses intimate or sexually explicit images of the victim, and the defendant threatens to share the images with third parties unless the victim complies with the defendant’s demands.  The demands could include giving the defendant money, engaging in sexual acts with the defendant, or anything else that the victim does not want to do.  You can also be convicted of sexual cyber harassment if there are no threats or demands, but you simply share the images without the victim’s consent in order to cause emotional or financial harm to the victim.

In the absence of additional charges, a first conviction for sexual cyber harassment is a first-degree misdemeanor, and the maximum punishment is a $1,000 fine and 12 months in county jail.  For a subsequent conviction, the maximum penalty for sexual cyber harassment is a $5,000 fine and five years in state prison.  Even if you do not get convicted of sexual cyber harassment, the victim can still bring a civil case against you, and the court may order you to pay up to $5,000 in damages.  A guilty plea will make the civil case against you a slam dunk, but a no contest plea will not.  The standard of evidence required for a ruling against a defendant in civil court is lower than the standard required to convict a defendant in criminal court.

Contact a West Palm Beach Criminal Defense Lawyer Today

Attorney William Wallshein has more than 39 years of experience, including five years as a prosecutor in Palm Beach County.  Contact William Wallshein P.A. in West Palm Beach, Florida to discuss your case.



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