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IN High Court Unanimously Upholds 'Revenge Porn' Law

The Indiana Supreme Court unanimously upheld the state’s "revenge porn" law in a criminal case involving college students and social media phenomenon Snapchat, reports the Fort Wayne Journal Gazette. "We conclude the statute advances the State’s compelling interest in protecting individuals from the unique and significant harms from the nonconsensual distribution of their intimate images, and it does so through means narrowly tailored to avoid unnecessarily abridging speech," the court said. "This is therefore one of the rare cases in which a speech restriction withstands strict scrutiny."


Conner Katz was charged in May 2020 with misdemeanor distribution of an intimate image for allegedly sending an explicit video of his then-girlfriend to a friend. Katz and the woman were students at Trine University. The law was passed in 2019 to target the sharing of explicit images without permission of the person in them. Katz’ attorneys argued the law was unconstitutional and a judge dismissed the case on the ground it violated the U.S. and Indiana constitutional rights to free speech. The Indiana Supreme Court said the statute doesn’t violate either the free interchange clause of the Indiana Constitution or the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, and reinstated the criminal case. The justices said the image was allegedly taken without the victim’s knowledge or consent. Katz shared two Snapchat videos with an ex-girlfriend of himself and his then-girlfriend. One showed his new girlfriend giving him oral sex and was recorded secretly without the permission of the woman.

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