February 12, 2016 by Androvett Legal Media & Marketing at 10:00:00 am
The expected sentencing today of Nicholas Rotundo on one count of cyberstalking raises the question of what kind of recourse his victims have against him.
Internet lawyer Kenton Hutcherson, of Dallas’ Hutcherson Law, who has previously handled so-called revenge porn litigation, says if Rotundo in fact threatened to publish intimate photos of women on revenge porn websites in order to pressure them into sending him more intimate photos or videos, his victims would probably have a solid invasion of privacy claim against him. In addition, if he ever posted the photos or videos online, his victims would be able to seek damages and attorney’s fees under Texas’ recently enacted revenge porn statute.
“To the extent his victims sent their photos voluntarily, they probably don’t have a cause of action for invasion of privacy because they voluntarily consented to disclosing their pictures to him, albeit under false pretenses,” Hutcherson says. “However, once he threatened to publish the photos if they did not send more pictures or videos, then if they sent further pictures or videos to him, then their consent would have been coerced, and they definitely have a claim for invasion of privacy. Once he goes the extortion route, you have a pretty good claim.”
So far, it does not appear that Rotundo posted the images he received anywhere online. But if he did, his victims would be able to file a request with major search engines to remove those images from their search results.
February 10, 2016 by Androvett Legal Media & Marketing at 10:00:00 am
The Dallas City Council’s decision not to allow Exxxotica to rent space in the city-owned convention center will undoubtedly be found unconstitutional by a federal judge. If the City is going to own a convention center and lease it to private parties, the First Amendment to the Constitution precludes the City from discrimination based on the message that those private parties are wanting to express at the convention center. And, like it or not, it is well-established under federal law that erotic displays are protected under the First Amendment.
The City’s Council’s decision is short-sighted. The decision might be popular with voters who despise erotic displays. But, when a federal judge orders the City to pay a large damage award to Exxxotica, the voters might not be happy with any city council member whose vote opened the door for tax dollars to be paid to Exxxotica.
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