Revenge Porn Case Awards Woman $6.4 Million

The woman accused her ex-boyfriend of posting intimate photos of her on pornography and dating websites.

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In a decision that could set a strong precedent for revenge porn cases, a federal judge ordered a man last week to pay $6.4 million in damages to an ex-girlfriend for allegedly spreading sexual photos of her online.

The unnamed California woman sued David Elam II, who posted suggestive photos on dating and pornography websites after their breakup in 2013. She sent the photos to him after they continued seeing each other long-distance before the relationship deteriorated, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Elam had called her and “threatened to ruin her life” before using the suggestive photos to make an OkCupid profile that encouraged other users to send sexual images, the lawsuit alleged. Of the 30 messages she received from strangers, one man said he was on her way to her home.

He also posted the photos and an explicit video to multiple pornography websites and another dating website.

The judge’s ruling was made possible by California’s 2013 revenge porn law, which outlaws the intentional distribution of non-consensual pornography. Shockingly, before the law took effect, the woman’s main recourse was to copyright her breasts by sending nude photos to the government in order to send cease-and-desist letters to websites with her photos.

Large court awards to revenge porn victims have sent a strong signal to malevolent ex-partners in recent years, like an $8.9 million award to Washington couple in 2017. Consider last week’s ruling a signal boost.

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