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REVENGE PORN: Woman’s case not prosecuted

ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. – Lori Jones didn’t know her estranged husband had a private photo of her, until that photo showed up on an internet porn site.

“When I went on that X-Hamster site, there was 20,544 people who had already viewed me,” she said.  “I just sat there and cried. I didn’t know what to do.”

Jones contacted the Winter Garden Police Department, which investigated the case. Investigators seized laptops and obtained IP addresses from internet providers.

Eventually, Jones’ estranged husband was arrested on a misdemeanor charge of sexual cyber-harassment.

“The betrayal of it, I didn’t leave the house for two months, I didn’t eat, I didn’t work,” said Jones.  “It’s embarrassing, it’s degrading. It’s the most horrible situation that I have ever gone through in my life.”

But,after less than 90 days, the State Attorney’s office closed the case, declining prosecution.

Records obtained by 9 Investigates show there have been six cases of sexual cyber-harassment filed in Orange County in the last year: one was transferred, two closed and the other three are still open.

The state attorney’s office has not said why it declined prosecution in Jones’ case.

“Just because a prosecutor doesn’t believe it reaches the criminal standard there still could be other remedies,” said Palm Beach attorney Stephanie Myron, who specializes in revenge porn cases. “We do have language on the books to provide protection.”

Jones can ask for an injunction. She can also ask any website to take down the picture, however, because the photo now exists on the internet, it may never disappear. That’s something Jones is keenly aware of. “A lot of people said to me, ‘Keep quiet about this. Let it go,’” she said. “But I can’t.”

 

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