revenge porn

Illinois Woman Convicted in ‘Revenge Porn' Case From 2016

A northern Illinois woman has been convicted in a “revenge porn” case that reached the state's high court and stemmed from sexually explicit photos of another woman she sent family and friends after her wedding was called off.

A McHenry County judge found Bethany Austin, 43, of Island Lake guilty Monday of felony nonconsensual dissemination of private sexual images. She's scheduled to be sentenced June 24 on the charge, which is punishable by probation or up to three years in prison.

Austin had been engaged to be married to a man she was living with after more than seven years of dating, the Chicago Tribune reported.

The couple shared an Apple iCloud account that allowed messages sent to the man’s phone to also go to Austin’s iPad. The couple canceled their wedding in 2016 and broke up after Austin discovered text messages and revealing photos another woman had sent to her fiance.

Austin testified that she shared the photos with a letter explaining the situation in response to her ex-fiance's claims that she was “crazy.”

The victim told police the pictures were private and intended only for the man.

Another McHenry County judge initially threw out the charge against Austin, ruling that state law making it a crime to disseminate private sexual images violated free speech protections.

But the Illinois Supreme Court overruled that decision, finding that nonconsensual dissemination of private sexual images is not protected as free speech by the First Amendment.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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