The number of "revenge porn" cases reported to the San Diego Police Department is growing each year, according to data obtained by NBC 7 Investigates.
State lawmakers put revenge porn -- legally called non-consensual pornography -- on California's list of computer crimes in 2013. A year later, only two cases were reported to San Diego police.
That number jumped to 29 cases in 2018, according to data obtained by NBC 7 Investigates through a California Public Records request. The majority of the cases reported to SDPD remain "open" investigations.
In February, a local jury awarded nearly $67,000 to an Escondido woman who says former professional baseball player and San Diego native Jacque Jones sent a nude photo of her to a mutual friend via Facebook Messenger.
NBC 7 Investigates previously spoke to the plaintiff in Jones' case. She told us, "Trust no one."
NBC 7 Investigates could not reach Jones for comment but his attorney stated that his client felt vindicated by the jury verdict.
"It is so degrading. You have this intimate personal photo that is shared," said attorney Rory Pendergast, who represented the woman in that civil case. "First of all, emotionally, it's an invasion of privacy and it's a total breach of trust."
While it's called "revenge" porn, there is no legal requirement that the act is committed with the intent to get revenge. All that is required is the intent to cause emotional harm.
Pendergast sees the increase of locally reported revenge porn cases as a good -- not bad -- thing. He says victims are more empowered to speak up and take action.
"What I see is that it means other victims are seeing the power of what is going on, are seeing the power in the law and they recognize the law provides them confidentiality, provides them with a speck of privacy so they can push forward and fight this."
In California, distributing revenge porn is a misdemeanor offense, punishable by six months in prison and up to a $1,000 fine. Individuals who are convicted for the distribution of revenge porn a second time can face up to one year in jail for their actions.