1st Man Charged Under Colorado's 'Revenge Porn' Law

DENVER — Irate victims of revenge porn across the nation are proving that new laws criminalizing the act are far from decorative — by taking perpetrators to court in their respective states.

Michael Clasen, 25, marks the first person charged under Colorado’s recently passed law that prohibits the unwanted online dissemination of explicit photos, often time depicting an ex or former lover.

The Colorado law took effect on July 1, the same day Clasen allegedly posted intimate photos of his ex-girlfriend online after she ended their relationship. He is also accused of stalking his ex and vandalizing both her and her mother’s cars.

Clasen now faces a misdemeanor charge that carries a maximum sentence of 18 months in jail and a $10,000 fine. His Tuesday hearing will determine whether or not his case will go to trial, as decided by the judge.

Clasen’s charge follows close behind that of 21-year-old Brandon Oliver, who became the first person charged under Virginia’s new revenge porn law.

Virginia’s law also went into effect July 1, but bears a different maximum penalty of 24 months in jail and a $5,000 fine.

So far, all those charged under the relatively new crime category have been male and under 30, including Clasen and Oliver and notorious revenge porn site operators Kevin Bollaert and Hunter Moore.

No one has yet faced incarceration, but the increase in statewide revenge porn bans and, now, resulting charges, suggest that the hullaballoo raised over enacting the laws may have been more than political posturing — and may have created potentially effective barriers against the malicious practice of cyber harassment.   

In addition to Virginia and Colorado, Hawaii, Arizona, California, New Jersey, New York, Georgia, Idaho, Pennsylvania, Utah and Wisconsin have outlawed revenge porn.

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