The Marine Corps Times reports here about North Carolina charges filed against a career Marine accused of:

posting one nude photo of the woman and six pictures of her wearing underwear on April 14, according to an arrest warrant, which does not identify the website where the pictures appeared.

According to the report, the accused is charged with “felony disclosure of private images,” which appears to be a violation of N.C. Gen. Stat. § 14-190.5A.(available here), which states:

(b) Offense. – A person is guilty of disclosure of private images if all of the following apply:

(1) The person knowingly discloses an image of another person with the intent to do either of the following:

a. Coerce, harass, intimidate, demean, humiliate, or cause financial loss to the depicted person.

b. Cause others to coerce, harass, intimidate, demean, humiliate, or cause financial loss to the depicted person.

(2) The depicted person is identifiable from the disclosed image itself or information offered in connection with the image.

(3) The depicted person’s intimate parts are exposed or the depicted person is engaged in sexual conduct in the disclosed image.

(4) The person discloses the image without the affirmative consent of the depicted person.

(5) The person discloses the image under circumstances such that the person knew or should have known that the depicted person had a reasonable expectation of privacy.

The statute defines a reasonable expectation of privacy as:

When a depicted person has consented to the disclosure of an image within the context of a personal relationship and the depicted person reasonably believes that the disclosure will not go beyond that relationship.

§ 14-190.5A(a)(5).

The North Carolina statute seems to be perfectly adequate to criminalize the kind of bad acts at issue in the Marines United scandal, and the statute appears free of the flaws I identified in my analysis of the recently-promulgated Article 1168, U.S. Navy Regulations.

If Congress thinks there should be a similar statute of national applicability, perhaps it should enact one.

11 Responses to “North Carolina prosecutes a Marine for photo-sharing”

  1. Tami a/k/a Princess Leia says:

    Reading this statute, under a literal reading, the pictures of her in her underwear don’t seem to count because “intimate parts” aren’t exposed.  And the nude photo will depend greatly on the pose.  If her nipples, pubic area, or anus aren’t exposed, then that also won’t count under the statute.  But again, that’s a literal interpretation of the “intimate parts” requirement.  Makes sense–if a woman runs around on the beach in a thong bikini, her breasts and buttocks are exposed.

  2. DCGoneGalt says:

    Tami:  Great point.  If intimate parts isn’t defined then I would think that the underwear wouldn’t cover all of the “intimate parts” that people would normally wish to cover and remain private.  I would like to see the instructions on this case.  Would it be an objective determination based on the context of the photo (i.e. thong bikini on a beach = not an offense v. thong underwear in a home = an offense)?

  3. Zachary D Spilman says:

    Intimate parts. – Any of the following naked human parts: (i) male or female genitals, (ii) male or female pubic area, (iii) male or female anus, or (iv) the nipple of a female over the age of 12.

    N.C. Gen. Stat. § 14-190.5A(a)(3).

  4. DCGoneGalt says:

    Zack:  Then if a photo is in underwear and shared without consent, it would not fall within the statutory prohibition.  I would think there would be a desire to prohibit not just nude images but also those that are in underwear/ones that one would reasonably intend to keep private.
    Sexting is just one more thing I will never understand.  Makes me feel like I am 80 years old because I can’t understand why anyone would ever send someone a naked photo of themselves.

  5. AF Capt says:

    Could be that she was only wearing some underwear but not all underwear, or underwear that less than completely covered her intimate parts.

  6. DCGoneGalt says:

    AF Capt:  I’m having a problem envisioning underwear (bra/panties) that wouldn’t cover the genitals, pubic area, anus, or nipple.  It’s gotta be the pubic region that would still be exposed but I can’t be sure because I’m not Googling “pubic region” on my phone. 

  7. AF Capt says:

    I’m regularly amazed by the depths of trashiness today, but yes, there are things like that out there.

  8. k fischer says:

    Google “BDSM lingerie.”  You might find a leather brassiere that opens in the front of the cups to expose the nipples, which I’m assuming so the leather brassiere will not have to be removed in order to attach nipple clamps.  Not that I condone the practice or the women and/or men who engage in it. 
    On a side note: Why don’t men have a privacy interest in their nipples? 

  9. DCGoneGalt says:

    kf:  If I had to place a bet on who would explain the “intimate parts” revealing underwear, I would have bet heavily on you.  You never disappoint!
    Do men have a privacy interest in their nipples?  I hope so but to be safe I won’t be sending any photos of my nipples to anyone.

  10. Tami a/k/a Princess Leia says:

    “Intimate parts” are defined.  The way I read the statute, if no “intimate parts” are exposed in the image, then they don’t count as “private images,” hence no violation of the statute.  Even if she was wearing underpants but no bra, if she had her nipples covered with something, there’s no violation.
    As far as thongs go, as long as your anus is covered, the image is not “private.”  And I’ll just leave it at that….

  11. Philip D Cave says: