Thursday, February 19, 2015


Before the modern digital era, jilted lovers would exact revenge on their unhappy exes by mailing those compromising photos. Once the photos or negatives were destroyed, however, the images were gone. End of problem.

But in these times, things are not so simple. Photos taken by cellphone during an unguarded moment may be impossible to eradicate. And transmitting a damaging image has never been so simple.

As a result, Illinois has enacted a law to ban the dissemination of private sexual images without the subject’s consent. Starting June 1, 2015, it is a Class 4 felony punishable by 1 to 3 years to intentionally disseminate an image of another who 1) is at least 18, 2) engaged in a sexual act or where intimate parts are exposed and 3) is identifiable from the image or information with the image. The image must have been obtained under circumstances in which a reasonable person would understand that it was to remain private.

If you are charged with this offense, contact an experienced criminal law attorney immediately. An attorney can review your situation to determine your best possible defense. As with most crimes, the state has the burden of proving all the elements of the crime beyond a reasonable doubt. Did you intentionally send the photos? Is the victim identifiable? Were the photos in fact sexual? Even if the evidence against you is overwhelming, an attorney who is respected in the courthouse may be able to negotiate a more favorable plea agreement than you can on your own.

If you are charged with this offense, do not speak about your situation with police or third parties. Any efforts to explain the situation could result in giving the state’s attorney the ammunition they need to convict you.

If you have questions about this or another related Illinois criminal or traffic matter, please contact Matt Keenan at 847-568-0160 or email

Source: Non-consensual dissemination of private sexual images.

(Besides Skokie, Matt Keenan also serves the communities of Arlington Heights, Chicago, Deerfield, Des Plaines, Evanston, Glenview, Morton Grove, Mount Prospect, Niles, Northbrook, Park Ridge, Rolling Meadows, Wilmette and Winnetka.)

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