If My Boyfriend Threatens to Distribute Naked Pictures of Me, Is That Harassment?
Submitted by New Jersey Criminal Lawyer, Jeffrey Hark.
My boyfriend or husband has sexually explicit naked photographs and videos of me on his cell phone and he is threatening to disseminate the videos and pictures he possesses. I already have a restraining order against him for other stuff, can I get one about this issue also so he does not send them out? Can I get a restraining order based on these threats and harassing communications? Can the creation of a “go fund me “page constitute a violation of a final restraining order?
Harassment Under New Jersey law is defined by NJSA 2C: 33–4. In this case the threats to disseminate the videos and naked photographs were sent to the victim’s attorney and not to the victim herself. The question is whether that communication is considered harassment. The case law and the statute presumes that the communicator is making the communication with the purpose of harassing and annoying the victim. The fact that the sender believes the pictures and videos and communication will not be told to the victim by the victim’s attorney was not accepted by the court.
The focus is the intent of the person giving the communication and the intent/pattern to annoy an alarm. In this case the judge found that the threat or attempt to disclose the private information and recordings if the victim did not agree to child visitation terms clearly constitute criminal coercion as well as harassment. Then, the victim in this case learned that the defendant had created a “go fund me “page to support his legal fees issue. A violation of restraining order was filed and the defendant was charged criminally. The court found that the defendants conduct violated the terms of the final restraining order which expressly prohibited the defendant from any direct or in direct contact or referencing wife and the children in any type of electronic platform which includes, but is not limited to, posting written text, documents, pictures, of the victim and their mutual child.
The appellate division in this case rejected the defendants argument out right quite quickly