Woman Files Lawsuit Against UCF Frat Over Revenge Porn

A UCF fraternity is in hot water after an Arizona woman filed a lawsuit claiming one of its members posted revenge pornography to a secret Facebook group without her consent. Allegedly, members of Delta Sigma Phi created a Facebook page called “the Dog Pound” to post graphic images and videos of their ex-lovers without the consent of any of the women depicted in the content.

The woman who first stepped forward is being represented by Michael Avenatti, celebrity attorney to pornography actress Stephanie Clifford aka Stormy Daniels, who has received widespread media attention due to allegations of extramarital affairs with the current president. Kathryn Novak accuses her ex-boyfriend, Brandon Simpson of the Delta Sigma Phi fraternity and five other members, of sharing an explicit video he had recorded with her on the Facebook page, which eventually reached over 200 members of the fraternity without her consent.

The lawsuit also claims that Simpson and the other members engaged in sexual cyber exploitation on the Facebook page, where members of Delta Sigma Phi routinely posted videos and images of their sexual conquests without any of the partners’ consent. The lawsuit claims that these actions are a form of revenge porn, which is a criminal offense. Novak, with the help of Avenatti, issuing on six counts including invasion of privacy, emotional distress, and negligence.

The UCF chapter of Delta Sigma Phi is currently on suspension while an investigation of the claims is ongoing.

What is Revenge Porn?

Revenge porn is a cybercrime in which intimate images of an individual are shared online, usually by an ex-partner, without the subject’s consent. In some cases, there are websites dedicated solely to these types of media. It most often takes place when a couple breaks up.

Many states have laws against revenge porn. Over half of all states have explicitly banned the act. Florida is one of these states. To prove the distribution of pornography constitutes “revenge porn,” the defendant must have had the intent to harass or harm the victim. This excludes several parties from liability, including the websites that host such images or videos for entertainment or profit.

Despite being an internet crime, revenge porn is often classified as a misdemeanor offense. In a civil lawsuit, such as the one in the above story, the victim can seek a restraining order, a take-down order, and monetary damages for emotional pain and suffering.

Consequences of Distributing Revenge Porn

Revenge pornography can hurt both parties involved. The person who posts the porn may face criminal charges which can lead to criminal penalties such as time spent in jail, fines, and restitution to the victim. The pornography also affects the victim, who must cope with the emotional damages sustained from having her private moments presented to the public online with endless opportunities for it to be shared, viewed, discussed, and even ridiculed. It may take months or years for victims to recover psychologically from the event.

If you face criminal charges for distributing revenge porn in Orlando, the defense lawyers at The Umansky Law Firm firmly believe in providing second chances to those accused of crimes in Central Florida. We have over 100 years of combined experience defending sex crimes throughout Orange County.

If you are a UCF student in need of representation, we will strive to protect your interests and future. Contact us at 407-228-338 or email us a description of your legal troubles. We will provide a free consultation in which you will learn the gravity of your circumstances and the options you have available to defend yourself.