More Cases of 'Revenge Porn' Being Reported in San Diego - NBC 7 San Diego

More Cases of 'Revenge Porn' Being Reported in San Diego

According to data from the San Diego Police Department, in 2014, only two cases of revenge porn were reported to their department. That number jumped to 29 cases in 2018.

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Spike in 'Revenge Porn' Cases Reported to Police

    NBC 7 Investigates reporter Mari Payton spoke to an attorney about the recent spike in cases reported to San Diego Police.

    (Published Sunday, Oct. 13, 2019)

    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 many states, including California, posting or sharing nude images of another person without that person's consent is a crime. Now digital platforms, including social media, allow revenge porn to be made public in an instant.

    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.

    NBC 7 Investigates is working for you. If you have more information about this or other story tips, contact us: (619) 578-0393, NBC7Investigates@nbcuni.com. To receive the latest NBC 7 Investigates stories subscribe to our newsletter.