Distribute Intimate Images without Consent (Revenge Porn)
The Crimes Act 1900 Section 91Q makes it an offence for a person to share an intimate image of another person without the other person’s consent. This offence carries a maximum penalty of a fine of 100 penalty units and/or three years imprisonment.
The offence is sometimes dubbed ‘revenge porn’ by those in the media because generally the motivations are sinister and images are shared for the purposes of causing shame and distress to the victim. In other cases, images are shared without a person’s consent as a means of blackmailing, coercing or simply to gloat to their friends about their girlfriend or boyfriend’s appearance.
What Is Consent?
Consent is defined as permission freely given. It should always be clearly communicated. If you are in doubt as to whether another person has consented to pictures being shared it is best to act with caution and assume that they haven’t.
What Actions Might Constitute Sharing An Intimate Image Without Someone’s Consent?
Example of actions that could give rise to a charge under Section 91Q are:
- Uploading a recording of your boyfriend or girlfriend in a sexual activity to a website without asking them first;
- Sending picture messages of your girlfriend or boyfriend to your mates without their knowledge.
What Must Be Proven
For a person to be found guilty of this offence, the court must be satisfied beyond a reasonable doubt that:
- They shared an intimate image of another person:
- They did not have the consent of the other person; and
- They knew or were reckless as to whether the other person had consented to the distribution of the image.
The maximum penalty is 100 penalty units and/or 3years 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
The court may also order the removal, deletion or destroying of the image. Failure to do so will result in another offence being committed under Section 91S of the Crimes Act 1900 NSW which carries a maximum penalty of 50 penalty units and/or two years imprisonment.
The Crimes Act contains a number of related offences. A person may be charged with these offences as well as with an offence under Section 91Q. They include:
- Distribute intimate image without consent
- Threaten to record or distribute intimate image
- Distribute child abuse material
What If The Person Is Under 16?
If a person accused of this offence is under the age of 16 years then a prosecution is not to commence without the approval of the Director of Public Prosecutions.
If the person depicted in the image or video is under 16, the accused is more likely to be charged with the offence of distributing child abuse material under Section 91H(2)
If you require legal advice about the distribution of an intimate image without consent or any other legal matter, please contact Armstrong Legal.