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Spurned LA Lover Is the First Convicted Under California's Revenge Porn Laws

Noe Iniguez was charged with posting a nude photo of his girlfriend to her employer's Facebook page.
December 3, 2014, 8:45pm
Photo via Getty Images

A Californian man has become the first person to be convicted under the state's revenge porn laws, more than a year after the regulations came into effect in October 2013.

A Los Angeles court slapped Noe Iniguez, 36, with a one-year jail sentence Monday and ordered him to seek domestic violence counseling for posting a nude photo of his former girlfriend to her employer's Facebook page under a pseudonym.

The victim had allegedly filed a restraining order against Iniguez at the end of their four year relationship in 2011, but more than a year later the defendant began posting derogatory comments online calling her a "drunk" and a "slut," culminating in him posting a topless image of his ex to the employer's Facebook page in March 2014, according to the LA Times.

Iniguez was charged with two counts of violating a restraining order and one count of breaching the state's new revenge porn law, which makes it a crime to take and then post identifiable and unsolicited nude photos of others online with the intent of humiliating or harassing that person.

Upskirt photos and revenge porn laws share barely legal gray area. Read more here.

California's laws, the first in the country to expressly target revenge porn, were brought into effect in October 2013. The state had already outlawed the taking of naked photos or videos of someone without their consent or knowledge, but the new rules now make it a misdemeanor to circulate photos of images online to exact retribution on a former lover.

Only New Jersey previously had laws protecting people from the distribution of their explicit photos, but they were passed as part of broader cyber bullying legislation, rather than to specifically address revenge porn. Since 2013, 13 states have enacted similar revenge porn laws, according to the National Conference for State Legislatures.

Initially, California's law failed to address nude "selfies" which are later distributed online without the person's consent. In September, Governor Jerry Brown signed a measure aimed at rectifying that gap in legislation.

Operators of revenge porn sites, where these types of images often end up, are also not specifically mentioned in the law, and providers are not held liable for content uploaded by other people, unless it is an image or video containing child pornography.

Last week, an Arizona judge put a revenge porn bill on hold after it was criticized by rights groups as being too broad. The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) argues that the law has the potential to infringe upon the First Amendment rights of anyone, including media outlets, artists or educators who display or distribute a nude image.

The ACLU did not immediately respond to VICE News' request for comment Wednesday.

Arizona's revenge porn law isn't a solution — it's a different kind of problem. Read more here.

Follow Liz Fields on Twitter :@lianzifields