Bridgeport Sextortion Lawyer
Being accused of unlawfully publishing someone else’s private images may not only do immense damage to your personal and professional reputation but may also result in serious criminal consequences including years of prison time. If you are facing allegations of domestic violence, revenge porn, or similar sex crimes, working closely with a skilled Bridgeport sextortion lawyer is vital to effectively contesting your charges in the short term and protecting your best interests in the long term.
How Is “Sextortion” Defined as a Criminal Offense?
The term “sextortion” does not appear anywhere in the Connecticut Penal Code, nor does the common alternative “revenge porn.” Instead, people accused of spreading explicit images of someone else without that person’s consent are generally charged under one of two different statutes depending on the context.
Connecticut General Statutes (C.G.S.) § 53a-189c defines “Unlawful Dissemination of an Intimate Image” as someone intentionally sharing, publishing, displaying, or otherwise disseminating any physical or electronic depiction of another person under all of the following conditions:
- The dissemination of the image(s) did not serve the public interest;
- The depicted person did not consent to the image(s) being spread by the accused;
- The image displayed a clearly identifiable person engaged in sexual intercourse or with a less than fully opaque covering over any intimate area of their body;
- The depicted person had a reasonable expectation that the image(s) would remain private and would not be shared;
- The depicted person was not engaged in sexual conduct in a public place and/or commercial setting when the image(s) was created; and/or
- The dissemination of the image(s) caused some form of financial, physical, social, occupational, and/or psychological harm to the depicted person.
Anyone who engages in “revenge porn” along these lines without any financial incentive will generally be charged under the statute mentioned above. However, as a Bridgeport sextortion attorney can further explain, an individual who threatens to disseminate someone else’s private intimate images unless the depicted person gives them money or something else of value may be charged under C.G.S. § 53a-122 with Larceny in the First Degree. Larceny by Extortion is always a first-degree offense, regardless of the financial value of the money, goods, and/or services allegedly involved in the act.
What Are Potential Consequences of a “Sextortion” Conviction?
Anyone who violates C.G.S. § 53a-189c by unlawfully sending an intimate image to one other person by any means may face penalties upon conviction commensurate with a Class A misdemeanor—in other words, a maximum one-year jail term and/or $2,000 in fines. However, if someone disseminates such an image to multiple people through any form of electronic, telecommunication, or computer service, their offense would be treated as a Class D felony punishable by up to five years imprisonment and a maximum of $5,000 in fines.
Committing “sextortion” and violating C.G.S. § 53a-122 can be punished even more severely, as Larceny in the First Degree is considered a Class B felony punishable by one to 20 years in prison and $15,000 in fines, even for first-time offenders.
Regardless of which of the above statutes is implicated, representation from a seasoned defense lawyer can be essential to achieving a favorable outcome for “sextortion” charges in Bridgeport.
Speak With a Bridgeport Sextortion Attorney About Legal Options
In recent years, law enforcement authorities and court officials in Connecticut have begun to crack down much more harshly on matters of “revenge porn” and “sextortion.” You cannot afford to take an accusation of this nature lightly.
If you have been accused of unlawfully sharing someone else’s intimate images or threatening to do so, contact a Bridgeport sextortion lawyer sooner rather than later. Call today to set up a meeting with the legal professionals the Law Offices of Mark Sherman, and click here to read what past clients have to say about working with us.