Is Leaking Nude Photos Legal In New York State? What About Sexting?
So your a-hole ex has been terrorizing you since you all broke up, but you have a secret weapon, right? You still have those nude photos your ex sent you when things were still hot and heavy. You're thinking, 'why not get a little revenge,' right? Not so fast. You could end up committing a crime in New York State.
Revenge porn has been the weapon of choice for many people. Who doesn't love a little 'get back' against an ex-lover who not only broke your heart but tore it into itty bitty pieces?
Or maybe it's not even an ex, maybe it's some rando on social media who continues to send unsolicited nudes, flooding your inbox with 'meat mail.' Since they are bold enough to direct message a stranger their 'prize possession,' why not share the glory with the world by posting them on your social media?
In NYS it's actually a misdemeanor to share intimate photos or videos of someone without their permission. New York Penal Code 245.15 spells out everything that the state considers illegal when it comes to revenge porn or the leaking of nudes. The law states, in part,
A person is guilty of unlawful dissemination or publication of an
intimate image when:
(a) with intent to cause harm to the emotional, financial or physical
welfare of another person, he or she intentionally disseminates or
publishes a still or video image of such other person, who is
identifiable from the still or video image itself or from information
displayed in connection with the still or video image, without such
other person's consent...
So before you decide that the best way to get some vengeance is by exposing someone's intimate flix, understand that you can be charged in this state. There are some exceptions to the rule though. The law does not apply to,
(a) the reporting of unlawful conduct;
(b) dissemination or publication of an intimate image made during
lawful and common practices of law enforcement, legal proceedings or
(c) images involving voluntary exposure in a public or commercial
(d) dissemination or publication of an intimate image made for a
legitimate public purpose.
Is Sexting Legal In New York State
Moving on to sexting. It's something that plenty of people do without having a second thought, especially teenagers. But, in New York State it is a felony if the recipient or sender is underage. On top of a felony charge, a person convicted will have to file as a sexual offender and be listed on the registry.
New York Penal Code Section 263.15 states,
A person is guilty of promoting a sexual performance by a child when, knowing the character and content thereof, he produces, directs or promotes any performance which includes sexual conduct by a child less than seventeen years of age.
There was an adjustment made in 2011 for two teenagers sexting each other consensually. But there are certain criteria that must be met,
The new program can be used if the sender and receiver of the images were 19 or younger at the time of the exchange, and they are not more than five years apart in age.
Sexting for consensual adults is still legal in New York, so long as the images are not shared without consent (see revenge porn law above). My personal philosophy, while I'll admit is a bit boring, has always been if you can't make time to see it in person, you don't deserve a picture of it ♀️.