Thursday, January 8, 2015

Jets linebacker faces charge of 'revenge porn' under N.J. law: Report

When Jermaine Cunningham was arrested at his New Jersey apartment Dec. 29 — in what authorities called a domestic violence case — the New York Jets linebacker was charged with spreading sexual images and charged with criminal mischief for alleged destroying clothes. Police also charged him with illegally having a .380 handgun in the glove compartment of his car.

Now Cunningham could become the state's first high profile defendant in one of the latest cases of what is commonly called "revenge porn," reports

Cunningham was charged under a New Jersey statute that makes it a crime to distribute sexual images of someone without that person's consent. The 10-year-old law was the first in the nation to make the spreading of such images a crime, claims the news site.

The five-year NFL veteran appeared in court Wednesday and pleaded not guilty to charges stemming from illegal disclosure of a person's sexual images.

Lawyers familiar with cyber invasion of a personal privacy say distribution of "revenge porn" is an ever-growing problem spurred by the rapid advance of personal electronic devices and expansion of social media which make it easy to post sexually-based images.

Cunningham has pleaded not guilty and his lawyer says he will fight the charges.

Prosecutors have released no information about a motive in the case, but Carrie Goldberg, a Brooklyn lawyer,  said this incident fits the criteria for invasion of privacy.

"The motive is not really relevant. It could be a hacker whose just putting the images out there for kicks,” said Goldberg.

New Jersey became the first state in the nation to make unauthorized spreading of a person’s sexually explicit images a crime when it passed the law in 2004. Currently 16 states have laws outlawing the distribution of such images, but with 13 states enacting the measure over the last 18 months.

The third-degree crime carries a maximum sentence upon conviction of five years in prison.

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