Threaten To Capture Or Distribute Intimate Images
In the ACT, it is an offence threaten to take or share an intimate image, or video (sex tape) of another person even if it is impossible to carry out the threat. The maximum penalty is three years imprisonment.
What is Threatening to Capture or Distribute Intimate Images?
Section 72E of the Crimes Act 1900 makes it an offence to threaten to take or share an intimate image of another person:
- with the intention that the victim will fear that the threat will be carried out; or
- being reckless about whether the victim will fear that the threat would be carried out.
What Actions Might Constitute an offence?
- Telling your boyfriend that you’ll send his friends naked pictures of him if he breaks up with you;
- Threatening to publish an intimate recording of your girlfriend online;
- Saying you’ll post intimate images of a friend on social media.
What the Police Must Prove
- That you threatened to record or share an intimate image of a person; and
- The image recording or sharing would be done without consent; and
- That you intended for them to fear that the threat would be carried out or you were reckless about whether the threat would be carried out.
The prosecution can convict you of threatening to capture or distribute intimate images even if it is impossible for you to carry out the threat. This may be because the image does not exist or the accused does not have an internet connection, or a printer to print out the image.
A person can be convicted of this offence even if the person previously consented to you taking or sharing their image. Sharing an intimate image of a person includes images that has been altered.
Possible Defences for Threatening to Capture or Distribute Intimate Images Without Consent
- that the accused did not intend the other person to fear the threat would be carried out and was not reckless as to this; or
- that the other person consented to have their image or video taken; or
- honest and reasonable mistake; or
Which Court Will Hear Your Matter?
Matters related to threatening to capture or distribute intimate images will either be heard in the ACT Magistrates Court or the Supreme Court. If the matter is heard in the Magistrates Court the maximum penalty that can be imposed is $5,000 and/or two years imprisonment. If the matter is heard in the ACT Supreme Court the maximum penalty can be imposed.
The maximum penalty for threatening to distribute images of another person is 300 penalty units and/or 3 years imprisonment however the court can impose any of the following penalties:
- Prison Sentence
- Intensive Corrections Order (ICO)
- Suspended Sentence
- Community Service Order (CSO)
- Good Behaviour Bond
If you require legal advice about the distribution of intimate images of a young person or any other legal matter, please contact Armstrong Legal.