Houston Attorney for Victims of Sexual Cyber-Harassment (Flashing)
People who receive unsolicited nude pictures might think that they have no recourse except to block or report the person who sent the picture. In some cases, this kind of harassment is enough to actually allow you to file a lawsuit against the sender, especially if you received other threatening or harassing messages alongside the pictures. Texas’ cyber-flashing law is the first of its kind in the U.S., and victims of digital sexual harassment might be entitled to compensation.
The law in Houston, TX allows you to file criminal charges to seek justice for the harm and offense you faced from being sent an unwanted nude photo, but it also allows you to seek compensation through a civil lawsuit. For help with your potential case, call the Houston attorneys for victims of sexual cyber-harassment (flashing) today at (817) 476-1797. The Queenan Law Firm’s attorneys offer free legal consultations.
Suing the Sender of Unwanted Nude Pictures in Houston, TX
Texas has a first-of-its-kind law in the U.S. that allows people who send unsolicited nude photos to be charged with a crime. Specifically, the law states that it is an offense to send someone such a picture if they did not request it or give their “express consent” to receive it. For an offending picture to qualify, it must show sexual activity, an erect penis under clothing, or a nude person.
If you are sent any of these kinds of pictures, you might be able to have the sender charged with a crime. However, the existence of a criminal law against this kind of behavior also shows that there is a legal duty to refrain from sending these kinds of pictures. If someone violates that legal duty and sends you photos of what amounts to cyber flashing, you might also be able to hold them liable in a civil court.
When you sue someone in civil court, you must show that they violated a duty that they owed you – which would be covered by a violation of this statute. You must then also show that you suffered damages because of their violation. A civil lawsuit also has a lower burden of proof, meaning that you do not need to prove your case “beyond a reasonable doubt” to win your case – instead, you need to prove your case “by a preponderance of the evidence.” That essentially means showing that it is more likely than not that your claim is correct.
Along with these kinds of photos, you might face additional harassment. This could include sexual language, abusive language, slurs, threats, release of personal information (“doxing”), and other unwanted or abusive communications. As part of a concerted effort to harass you, these kinds of pictures could be only part of a greater harm.
Damages for Victims of Cyber-Flashing and Sexual Harassment in Houston
To win a case for damages against the sender of an unsolicited nude photograph, you must show that you suffered damages. When your rights are violated like this, there is inherent harm. Overriding your consent and showing you a photo you did not want to see can be shocking and is a violation that causes some level of harm in and of itself. If you are especially sensitive or offended by the photograph, that harm could be worse. If the unsolicited cyber-flashing was part of a larger campaign of harassment, you could also face much worse psychological harm.
Victims of intense harassment, abuse, and threats could face psychological harm. In some cases, the harm could amount to physical feelings of anxiousness, potentially resulting in physical effects as well.
Our attorneys will work to find a fair value to claim for this compensation. It is important to remember that damages might be available in a civil lawsuit, but these kinds of cases are separate from any criminal cases against the sender.
What Counts as “Cyber-Flashing” in Houston?
Texas’ 2019 cyber flashing law widely covers many types of nude photos sent digitally regardless of what app or method was used to send the photo. Many people receive unsolicited nude photos on dating apps, in social media direct messages, and even in texts or emails. All of these mediums qualify under the statute, potentially making it a crime and a civil tort to send a photo this way.
“Ad hoc” programs that allow photos to be sent directly to another device – such as Apple’s AirDrop – would also qualify under this statute. With these kinds of programs, people in the area might be able to send you photos to your phone that pop up with a preview without giving you a chance to deny the message, making this nearly indistinguishable from other types of flashing where the victim is caught off guard. As such, the law in Houston also covers this kind of digital flashing.
For the act of sending such a picture to break the law, it must be sent without the recipient requesting it or consenting to receive it. Your presence on social media or a dating app is by no means the same as consent to receiving such a picture. As such, this law can help in most cases where you digitally receive a picture you did not explicitly request or say “OK” to.
Call Our Houston Lawyers for Victims of Digital Flashing and Cyber Harassment for a Free Consultation
If you or a loved one was sent unwanted or unsolicited nude photos on the internet, our attorneys at The Queenan Law Firm might be able to help. Our Houston attorneys for victims of sexual cyber-harassment (flashing) represent victims who received photos of digital flashing and other unwanted sexual or threatening communications. We might be able to take your case and fight to get you compensation from the sender of these kinds of explicit messages and communications. Call our lawyers today at (817) 476-1797 to set up a free case consultation.