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Revenge Porn Victim Awarded $6.45 Million
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Summary: The victim of revenge porn and a law student in California received the second highest judgment in a non-celebrity revenge porn case.

A former California law student won a $6.45 million judgment against a former boyfriend who posted her intimate photos online when they broke up. According to the ABA Journal, the woman referred to as “Jane Doe” in court documents won the judgment in a case of revenge porn.

  
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The woman won $3 million in compensatory damages, $3 million in punitive damages and $450,000 for copyright infringement, according to CNN. U.S. District Judge Philip Gutierrez of Los Angeles entered the judgment by signing a proposed default judgment against David K. Elam II, the defendant.

Elam posted the sexually explicit photographs and videos of his ex-girlfriend on the internet, sending links to the image to her mother and a classmate at her law school. He then impersonated her on porn and dating websites, which resulted in her receiving unwanted text messages from strange men who thought she was interested “in indiscriminate sexual relations.”

She was able to obtain a restraining order against Elam but he continued his destructive actions. The order required him to remove the content from the internet and stop impersonating her on the websites. Gutierrez also ordered him, as part of the judgment, to destroy all of the photos and videos.

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Elam gained access to the images originally when he moved across the country and asked the woman for them. He was living in Virginia and she was still in California. After she had given the images to Elam, she went and registered the material for their copyrights with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.

The woman had claimed not only infringement but also infliction of emotional distress, cyberstalking, and online impersonation with the intent to cause harm.



K&L Gates took the woman’s case pro bono, as part of their Cyber Civil Rights Legal Project. In the project, pro bono lawyers take on cases involving “revenge porn” victims. The award she received is the second-largest in a pro bono case not involving a celebrity, according to K&L Gates. The law firm was also able to help the victim with the highest award of $8.9 million.

Elam had been facing criminal charges but federal prosecutors dropped those charges two years ago. K&L Gates partner Seth Gold explained to CNN that this civil case did not rely on the outcome of the criminal case.

Do you think the judgment is excessive or fair for revenge porn? Share your thoughts with us in the comments below.

To learn more about revenge porn, read these articles:

Photo: twoeggz.com



 

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