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Augusta County Woman Charged Under Virginia's New "Revenge Porn Law"

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WAYNESBORO, Va. (WVIR) -

An Augusta County woman is the first person Waynesboro Police have charged under Virginia's new "Revenge Porn Law", which went into effect this summer.

Formally this law is called "Unlawful Dissemination or Sale of Images of Another.” This means distributing someone else's private photos.

Police say 28-year-old Rachel Lynn Craig stole a picture of her ex-boyfriend's 22 year old girlfriend off his phone and posted the nude photo on Facebook. They say other people saw the post and told the victim.

In order to charge someone for this crime, police must have proof he or she meant to do harm.

Waynesboro Police Sergeant Brian Edwards said, "That was one thing we really had to establish. What was the intent of Ms. Craig for posting this? She considered the victim a romantic rival for this one individual's affections and she said that she did it out of anger."

Police say these crimes have been happening for years, since the start of online social media. The new law makes the crime a Class 1 Misdemeanor, punishable by up to one year in jail and/or a $2,500 fine.

Waynesboro Police caution people against sending these images in the first place, because even the new law cannot prevent the humiliation people often feel when their photos are seen by others.

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