An Illinois woman was convicted of “revenge porn” after sharing sexually explicit photos that another woman had sent to her fiancé.
Bethany Austin, 43, sent the racy images to her family and friends in 2016 to explain why she was calling the wedding off, according to the Chicago Tribune.
She was found guilty of nonconsensual dissemination of private sexual images Monday in McHenry County Court.
When she discovered the illicit pics, Austin had been living with the man she was engaged to after more than seven years of dating.
The couple shared an Apple iCloud account that allowed messages sent to the man’s phone to also go to Austin’s iPad.
That’s how Austin found the texts and revealing photos, leading the couple to break up and cancel their nuptials.
But Austin testified that her ex-fiancé then began spreading rumors that she was “crazy” — and said she wanted to set the record straight.
She mailed a four-page letter to family and friends explaining the situation, and included screenshots of the texts and photos, the Daily Herald reported.
“I decided to tell people the truth,” she testified Friday. “I wanted them to know that I wasn’t crazy.”
The other woman, however, told police that the pictures were private and intended only for Austin’s then-fiancé.
A McHenry County Court judge had initially thrown out the “revenge porn” case, arguing that state law making it a crime to share private sexual images violated free speech protections.
Judge Michael Coppedge ultimately agreed in his ruling, saying that Austin should have known that the photos were not intended to be shared.
“It is wrong because exposing a person’s body against her will fundamentally deprives a person of their right to privacy,” Coppedge said, according to the Herald.
Another McHenry County judge had initially thrown out the case, finding that state law making it a crime to share private sexual images violated free speech protections.
But the Illinois Supreme Court overruled that decision.
Austin, of Island Lake, now faces anywhere from probation to up to three years in prison for the crime at her sentencing on June 24.