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What to Expect If Charged with Sextortion or Revenge Porn

 

What to Expect If Charged with Sextortion or Revenge Porn

Getting charged with sextortion or revenge porn can be an incredibly stressful and scary experience. As someone whose been through it myself, I want to give you an honest look at what to expect, the legal process, and some advice on how to handle it. I’m not a lawyer, but I learned a ton going through this nightmare.

The Police Knock on Your Door

If your being investigated for sextortion or revenge porn, there’s a good chance the police will eventually show up at your door. I know cause it happened to me. Out of the blue one morning, two detectives were pounding on my door yelling “Police! Open up!” I looked through the peephole and saw the badges around their necks. My heart sank and I started shaking uncontrollably.

When I opened the door, the detectives barged right in and started searching my apartment. They had a warrant allowing them to seize my phone, laptop, external hard drives, and anything else they thought might have evidence. The whole time their grilling me with questions like “Where were you last night?” “Do you know Jane Doe?” “Have you ever posted nude photos of someone else online?” I was scared out of my mind and didn’t know what to say, so I just kept repeating “I want to speak to my lawyer.” That seemed to piss them off more, but it’s your right to have a lawyer present during questioning.

You’ll Be Arrested and Booked

After tearing my place apart and taking all my devices, the detectives slapped handcuffs on me and hauled me down to the police station. I felt like a criminal getting booked – they fingerprinted me, took my mugshot, and locked me in a holding cell until I was able to post bail. It was humiliating and terrifying, especially when they started accusing me of being some kind of pervert.

I kept telling them it was all a big misunderstanding, but they didn’t want to hear it. Finally my parents were able to post my bail so I could go home, but my life became a living hell after that. My picture was on the news and internet calling me a “revenge porn purveyor.” I got death threats telling me I should kill myself. I couldn’t leave my house without getting harassed, and I eventually had to drop out of college because of the bullying. All over something I didn’t even do.

The Legal Process is Slow and Painful

After posting bail, my lawyer told me the legal process would probably take over a year to resolve. In the meantime, the police and prosecutors would be building a case against me by going through my devices and online accounts, interviewing witnesses, and pressuring me to take a plea deal. My lawyer said to expect a lot of “legal maneuvering” as we tried to get evidence thrown out or charges reduced.

Christine Twomey
Christine Twomey
2024-03-21
Just had my Divorce case settled 2 months ago after having a horrible experience with another firm. I couldn’t be happier with Claire Banks and Elizabeth Garvey with their outstanding professionalism in doing so with Spodek Law Group. Any time I needed questions answered they were always prompt in doing so with all my uncertainties after 30 yrs of marriage.I feel from the bottom of my heart you will NOT be disappointed with either one. Thanks a million.
Brendan huisman
Brendan huisman
2024-03-18
Alex Zhik contacted me almost immediately when I reached out to Spodek for a consultation and was able to effectively communicate the path forward/consequences of my legal issue. I immediately agreed to hire Alex for his services and did not regret my choice. He was able to cover my case in court (with 1 day notice) and not only was he able to push my case down, he carefully negotiated a dismissal of the charge altogether. I highly recommend Spodek, and more specifically, Alex Zhik for all of your legal issues. Thanks guys!
Guerline Menard
Guerline Menard
2024-03-18
Thanks again Spodek law firm, particularly Esq Claire Banks who stood right there with us up to the finish line. Attached photos taken right outside of the court building and the smile on our faces represented victory, a breath of fresh air and satisfaction. We are very happy that this is over and we can move on with our lives. Thanks Spodek law 🙏🏼🙏🏼🙏🏼🙏🏼🙌🏼❤️
Keisha Parris
Keisha Parris
2024-03-15
Believe every single review here about Alex Z!! From our initial consultation, it was evident that Alex possessed a profound understanding of criminal law and a fierce dedication to his clients rights. Throughout the entirety of my case, Alex exhibited unparalleled professionalism and unwavering commitment. What sets Alex apart is not only his legal expertise but also his genuine compassion for his clients. He took the time to thoroughly explain my case, alleviating any concerns I had along the way. His exact words were “I’m not worried about it”. His unwavering support and guidance were invaluable throughout the entire process. I am immensely grateful for Alex's exceptional legal representation and wholeheartedly recommend his services to anyone in need of a skilled criminal defense attorney. Alex Z is not just a lawyer; he is a beacon of hope for those navigating the complexities of the legal system. If you find yourself in need of a dedicated and competent legal advocate, look no further than Alex Z.
Taïko Beauty
Taïko Beauty
2024-03-15
I don’t know where to start, I can write a novel about this firm, but one thing I will say is that having my best interest was their main priority since the beginning of my case which was back in Winter 2019. Miss Claire Banks, one of the best Attorneys in the firm represented me very well and was very professional, respectful, and truthful. Not once did she leave me in the dark, in fact she presented all options and routes that could possibly be considered for my case and she reinsured me that no matter what I decided to do, her and the team will have my back and that’s exactly what happened. Not only will I be liberated from this case, also, I will enjoy my freedom and continue to be a mother to my first born son and will have no restrictions with accomplishing my goals in life. Now that’s what I call victory!! I thank the Lord, My mother, Claire, and the Spodek team for standing by me and fighting with me. Words can’t describe how grateful I am to have the opportunity to work with this team. I’m very satisfied, very pleased with their performance, their hard work, and their diligence. Thank you team!
Anthony Williams
Anthony Williams
2024-03-12
Hey, how you guys doing? Good afternoon my name is Anthony Williams I just want to give a great shout out to the team of. Spodek law group. It is such a honor to use them and to use their assistance through this whole case from start to finish. They did everything that they said they was gonna do and if it ever comes down to it, if I ever have to use them again, hands-down they will be the first law office at the top of my list, thank you guys so much. It was a pleasure having you guys by my side so if you guys ever need them, do not hesitate to pick up the phone and give them a call.
Loveth Okpedo
Loveth Okpedo
2024-03-12
Very professional, very transparent, over all a great experience
Bee L
Bee L
2024-02-28
Amazing experience with Spodek! Very professional lawyers who take your case seriously. They treated me with respect, were always available, and answered any and all questions. They were able to help me very successfully and removed a huge stress. Highly recommend.
divesh patel
divesh patel
2024-02-24
I can't recommend Alex Zhik and Spodek Law Firm highly enough for their exceptional legal representation and personal mentorship. From the moment I engaged their services in October 2022, Alex took the time to understand my case thoroughly and provided guidance every step of the way. Alex's dedication to my case went above and beyond my expectations. His expertise, attention to detail, and commitment to achieving the best possible outcome were evident throughout the entire process. He took the time to mentor me, ensuring I understood the legal complexities involved to make informed decisions. Alex is the kind of guy you would want to have a beer with and has made a meaningful impact on me. I also want to acknowledge Todd Spodek, the leader of the firm, who played a crucial role in my case. His leadership and support bolstered the efforts of Alex, and his involvement highlighted the firm's commitment to excellence. Thanks to Alex Zhik and Todd Spodek, I achieved the outcome I desired, and I am incredibly grateful for their professionalism, expertise, and genuine care. If you're in need of legal representation, look no further than this outstanding team.

He was right, the next months were agonizing. The cops lied and claimed they found all kinds of incriminating stuff on my phone, which they didn’t. We filed motions trying to get the bogus evidence excluded, while the DA kept offering me plea deals for lesser charges if I’d admit guilt. I refused to take a plea for something I didn’t do.

Meanwhile, I was banned from school and basically under house arrest with an ankle monitor. I fell into a deep depression and even considered suicide. The only thing that kept me going was my family and continuing to proclaim my innocence. It was a dark, scary time though and the legal pressure was overwhelming.

The Trial is Nerve-Wracking

After nearly a year of legal wrangling, we finally went to trial. Those two days waiting for the jury to reach a verdict were the most stressful of my life. I was a nervous wreck on the stand being grilled by the prosecutor. He tried to paint me as a deranged stalker who got off on harming women.

My lawyer did a great job refuting the bogus evidence and showing there were no photos of the victim on any of my devices. In the end, the jury saw through the BS and found me not guilty on all counts. I broke down crying like a baby when I heard the verdict.

It Stays on Your Record Forever

Even though I was found not guilty, the arrest and charges still show up every time I apply for a job or apartment. I have to explain that whole nightmare and hope people believe I was falsely accused. It’s something that will follow me around forever unfortunately.

Advice if You’re Being Charged

Based on my experience, here’s some advice if you find yourself being charged with sextortion or revenge porn:

  • Don’t say anything to the police without a lawyer present
  • Be respectful, but don’t admit to anything you didn’t do
  • Hire the best lawyer you can afford
  • Follow your lawyer’s advice about taking a plea deal or going to trial
  • Tell friends and family the truth so they can support you
  • Get counseling if you become depressed or suicidal
  • Stay strong and keep believing in your innocence

It’s a long, difficult road but the truth will come out in the end. Don’t lose hope and know there are others out there who’ve gone through this same nightmare. You can get through it.

References

Revenge Porn Laws by State – Overview of state laws criminalizing revenge porn

Revenge Porn Laws by State – More details on state revenge porn statutes

18 U.S. Code § 875 – Interstate communications – Federal law prohibiting extortion

Fifth Amendment – Constitutional right to avoid self-incrimination

Sixth Amendment – Right to a speedy trial and impartial jury

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