What's next for victims after 'revenge porn' law deemed unconsti - FOX34 Lubbock

What's next for victims after 'revenge porn' law deemed unconstitutional

Posted: Updated:
LUBBOCK, Texas -

The Tyler-based 12th Court of Appeals ruled our state's "revenge porn" law is unconstitutional. The 2015 "Relationship Privacy Act" targets the disturbing internet trend, posting previous partner's nudes or semi-nude photos without permission.

The decision could set a precedent for cases throughout Texas. Barron Slack, the person's crime chief with the District Attorney's office said this ruling is not controlling legal authority across our state yet. 

"It may be persuasive authority, the court of appeals may affirm and go with it, or not and that would have the determination on where we are with this law is," Slack said.

The court claimed the law is overly broad and violates the first amendment by restricting expression based on the content of photos or videos shared online. Slack agreed there are several tweaks that could be made to update the act.

"Obviously these are bad situations and we're in a world now where a lot of this is new, the phones, the social media," Slack said. "It's still kind of new to our society so we're kinda getting a foothold on how to handle these and this is part of the process." 

Slack believed this ruling is not to discourage victims, but to protect third parties. 

"There would need some language that would protect a person who came across an image not knowing there was a lack of consent on part of the person pictured," Slack said. "Just a way to hedge or protect people who are not necessarily dealing with that kind of material in a malicious sense." 

He said the Tyler appeals court ruling should not inhibit victims from seeking legal action against the perpetrator. .

"It's not that the court has an ideological problem with the intent behind the law, but rather they don't want to see innocent parties get caught up," Slack said. 

Kenneth Castillo with Voice of Hope Rape Crisis Center said regardless of this case, it is crucial to go to the police. 

"If you feel somebody is trying to maliciously use any form of media, whether it be video tape or recording, go to the police department, no matter what was struck down, go to the police department, and try to get everything taken care of," Castillo said. "Try to get those videos off as soon as possible because once they are one there, they spread like wildfire." 

Castillo is supportive of changes to the law so it upholds in court. Until then, he said it is important to recognize how serious this issue is. 

"It can and will destroy lives, peoples futures, people's sense of security, and faith in relationships," Castillo said.

Castillo urges everyone to think before you send and said is is the best way to avoid becoming a victim. Attorney General Ken Paxton's office will appeal ot the Court of Criminal Appeals, seeking to overturn the 12th court's decision. 

Powered by Frankly
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2020 RAMAR. All Rights Reserved.
For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy, and Terms of Service, and Ad Choices.