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Man Charged in St. Paul's Fifth "Revenge Porn" Case in Last Four Years

Does Minnesota need a "revenge porn" law?

Does Minnesota need a "revenge porn" law?

St. Paul police say a 25-year-old man named David secretly recorded himself having sex with his wife on at least three occasions.

That's a pretty creepy, weird thing to do to your spouse, so it's not too surprising that after David made those videos he got divorced.

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After the breakup, David (we are not publishing his last name to protect the identity of his ex-wife) was mad at his ex-wife, so he dusted off the old footage and posted it to a Facebook group with at least 90 members. From there, the videos were reposted on at least two highly trafficked porn sites.

His ex-wife didn't find out about the secretly filmed sex tapes until September 17, 2014, almost two years after they were uploaded to the internet. Police say she was exposed to contempt, ridicule, and degradation from the unauthorized filming and posting of the sex tapes, and last Friday David was charged with criminal defamation, a gross misdemeanor.

Interim St. Paul City Attorney Laura Pietan says until recently her office never saw these types of cases, but now the city has handled five in the last four years.

Prosecutors in Minnesota use the state's criminal defamation statute, which carries a maximum sentence of a year in jail and a $3,000 fine, to punish creeps who post revenge porn.

More and more states are looking at passing specific "revenge porn" laws to crack down on people who post these videos as these types of situations become more common in our increasingly digital world.

Wisconsin passed one last year and this year the North Dakota legislature is considering a bill that would offer identical penalties to Minnesota's criminal defamation statute.

Pietan says typically these cases go through a pre-sentence investigation and the defendant's criminal history is weighed before a punishment is handed down.

She added sometimes jail time is ordered, or stayed time of up to 180 to 365 days, with supervised probation for 1 to 2 years.

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