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Ultimate Betrayal: Revenge porn used as leverage, extortion in some cases

Nevada Attorney General, FTC shut down revenge porn website
University of Central Florida fraternity members accused of posting revenge porn on Facebook
Sexting prompts move to update child-porn laws
Posted at 10:54 PM, Jun 20, 2019
and last updated 2019-06-21 07:30:10-04

LAS VEGAS (KTNV) — It's supposed to be an intimate image shared privately with a person you know or even love but for whatever reason some are using it as a tool to extort or even blackmail.

Revenge porn has become a common phrase with deeply violating consequences.

Technology makes it it so easy too.

Cell phones with cameras, messaging, air drop, and other apps can spread an intimate image, sometimes without a trace of who sent it.

Alison Otano says she is proof it can happen to anyone.

Her story begins years ago when she got wrapped up with a guy who took topless pictures of her.

"I didn't have anything on, just my underwear and I felt really weird, I felt really uncomfortable," said Otano.

Young and perhaps a little naive, Alison says she learned the man had also taken nude pictures of others and posted them for all to see.

"It was literally a porn website with girls that had nothing on," said Otano.

Alison says he used the photos as leverage to pressure her into a sexual relationship.

The police had to be involved in the situation but she is far from alone in the revenge porn ordeal.

"It's crazy, it's real," said Annie Lobert, founder of Destiny House.

"Revenge porn is real and it is happening and I think it's just going to continue to rise because we have cameras everywhere nowadays," said Lobert.

Lobert believes Nevada is ripe with revenge porn.

"It's a really scary feeling, having your own photos out there because, I myself, have several instances, besides my sex trafficker, of people who took pictures of me that are probably out there somewhere and I have no idea where," said Lobert.

Attorney Doug Crawford says revenge porn has found its way into criminal proceedings and lawsuits.

"People can be sued for this horrendous behavior and they should," said Crawford.

"This is a betrayal of trust at the highest order," said Crawford.

Crawford says messy breakups and divorces with child custody disputes are a common thread in revenge porn cases.

"One party or the other will commit the crime of extortion and say give me custody or I'm going to put these videos on the web," explained Crawford.

Nevada law spells out what revenge porn is considered.

READ: NEVADA REVENGE PORN LAW NRS 200.780

The law prohibits the electronic dissemination of an intimate image if the person in the image did not give consent to release, if the person had a reasonable expectation the image would be kept private, and the person in the image was at least 18 years old at the time it was taken.

Crawford says the Nevada law does not include what many would consider all types of pornography.

The term "intimate image" is defined under Nevada law as an image containing the fully exposed nipple of the female breast, including through transparent clothing, or one or more persons engaged in sexual conduct.

"What is specifically left out is the depiction of the male and female genitalia, and that seems very odd to me," said Crawford.

Crawford says at best the Nevada law is incomplete and does not protect both men and women from all types of revenge porn.

"Putting those pictures over someone's head it get money or leverage in their live, it's pretty scary," said Lobert.

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