Posting Private Image for Harassment and Revenge Porn in Colorado
CRS 18-7-107

In Colorado, “revenge porn”, or posting a private image for harassment, is a criminal offense. Revenge porn involves posting or distributing intimate photos of people without their consent with the intention of harassing or upsetting them. This offense is a class 1 misdemeanor, which may result in jail time and costly penalties. In this article, our Colorado criminal defense lawyers will address:

Revengepornpic
Revenge porn involves posting or distributing intimate photos of people without their consent with the intention of harassing or upsetting them.

1. What is Revenge Porn?

This offense is committed when a person who is 18 years of age or older posts or distributes intimate images or videos on social media for the purpose of harassing another person. In order to be convicted of this crime, the images must contain the private, intimate parts of an identified or identifiable person who is also eighteen years of age or older.

To be convicted of the crime of posting a private image for harassment, the prosecutor has to prove the following elements:

  • The defendant posted the pictures with the intent to inflict serious emotional distress upon the depicted person;
  • The defendant posted the pictures without the permission of the depicted person, or should have been aware that the depicted person had a reasonable expectation to believe that the images would remain private; and
  • The defendant's conduct resulted in serious emotional distress upon the depicted person.1

Colorado statutes explicitly define the terms “private intimate parts” and “social media.” Private intimate parts are referred to as the external genitalia, or the perineum or the anus or the pubes of any person or the breast of a female.2

Under Colorado statutes, “social media” is defined as any electronic medium, including an interactive computer service, telephone network, or data network, that allows users to create, share, and view user-generated content, including but not limited to videos, still photographs, blogs, video blogs, podcasts, instant messages, electronic mail, or internet website profiles. 3

2. What are the penalties for posting revenge porn in Colorado?

Posting a private image for harassment is a class 1 misdemeanor. A conviction for posting revenge porn may result in penalties of up to 18 months in jail and a mandatory fine of up to $10,000.

This fine is substantially more costly than the standard fine associated with a class 1 misdemeanor. This relatively new law was enacted in 2014. Colorado made the fine more costly in order to emphasize that the state does not tolerate this behavior.

In addition to criminal charges, the person depicted may have a civil claim against the person who posted the images to seek money damages, including attorney costs and fees.4

3. What are the defenses in Colorado for revenge porn charges?

According to Colorado statutes, posting an image, photograph, or video is not posting a private image for harassment if the image is related to a “newsworthy event.”

A newsworthy event is defined as a matter of public interest, of public concern, or related to a public figure who is intimately involved in the resolution of important public questions or, by reason of his or her fame, shapes events in areas of concern to society.5

4. Related Offenses

There is another law that is similar to the offense of posting a private image for harassment. It is the crime of posting a private image for pecuniary gain.

4.1 Posting a Private Image for Pecuniary Gain C.R.S. 18-7-108

Posting a private image of someone else online with the intent of receiving money in exchange is a criminal offense in Colorado. Posting a private image for pecuniary gain is classified as a class 1 misdemeanor, which carries penalties of up to 18 months in jail and a fine of at least $10,000.

Call us for help...

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If you are facing criminal charges for posting a private image for harassment, please contact us at the Colorado Legal Defense Group. Our dedicated Colorado attorneys have experience working with clients that have previously acquired misdemeanor and felony charges. We can proudly say that we are among the best defense lawyers to call. Contact us today in person at our Denver law office or via telephone for a free consultation.


Legal References

  1. C. R. S. 18-7-107(1)
  2. C. R. S. 18-7-107(6)(b)
  3. C. R. S. 18-7-107(6)(c)
  4. C. R. S. 18-7-107(4)
  5. C. R. S. 18-7-107(6)(a)

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