NC Makes Surprising First Revenge Porn Arrest

Revenge Porn

>>Revenge PornAshley Augustine of Apex, North Carolina, could be facing anywhere from four to twenty-five months in prison for a Facebook post.

It sounds extreme until you consider that her post was a photo of a Garner woman having sex. Augustine allegedly posted the picture without the woman’s consent andwith the intent to harass, demean, or humiliate her,” a violation of >>NC’s revenge porn law that took effect on December 1, 2015. Augustine is one of the >>first people to be charged under this new law.

When we hear about the harrowing cases of revenge porn, they often sound more extreme than one Facebook post. People envision a crazy ex-boyfriend bombarding the internet with pictures and videos. Because of this stereotype, some are wondering whether the law is working as intended in this case.

Think about the victim. It is one photo, but we all know how far reaching one photo on the internet can be. Consider the trauma. Consider the time and effort victims of revenge porn have to extend in order to have some semblance of their normal lives return. The perpetrators of these crimes deserve a punishment. Hopefully their punishment and the law will >>deter others from revenge posting.

On the other hand, I think back to my >>interview with Annmarie Chiarini in August of last year, when the law was being proposed. I asked Chiarini — a victim and an advocate for victims — what she thought about a felony charge for an offender. She had told me: “When it comes to felony charges, I’m honestly very torn. There’s a part of me, of course, that’s very, very hurt and that feels ‘Hell, yeah it should be a felony; hell, yeah, they should be marked for life.’ But on the other side I have a tough time in my heart justifying that someone should be a felon for life because sometimes it’s an act of blind anger, or immaturity. I don’t know if someone’s life should be defined by the whole thing.

And I see that side of it, too. Obviously there is a lot that is unknown about this case. I hope that neither woman’s life will be defined by it. But, unlike many NC laws, I am glad that this one exists. I hope people hear about this arrest and this law so that culprits will think twice before posting something as an act of revenge and so victims will have recourse if something is posted.

Jennifer Brick is a freelance writer and former teacher in Durham, North Carolina. She earned her Masters of Fine Arts in Creative Nonfiction from Goucher College. Follow her on Twitter @jenbrickwrites.




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