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Tampa Revenge Pornography Case; $600,000 Jury Verdict

Melissa Berry is your average adult. She works a normal job, has normal friends, and tries her shot at relationships that probably won’t work out. The difference between most subjects and Berry is that she put up a fight; a very impressive one at that. Melissa was victim to the rarely victorious case of revenge pornography—the nonconsensual public sharing of one’s nude photos. This makes Melissa Berry an influential figure in cases related to revenge pornography for many victims to come; and rightfully so.

Revenge pornography is the act usually committed by ex-boyfriends or girlfriends, loved ones, or friends who have lost faith, trust, or respect for another.  These jaded individuals then take the extra disrespectful step to post revealing photos of said loved one online for the public to view and share. The 2 biggest enemies in the fight against revenge pornography are the easiest to determine; the owner(s) of the websites which host the illegal content, and the ones who commit the crimes themselves. The criminal in this case happened to be both. Depending on which platforms are used and the severity of the revenge pornography crime, the website administrators and/or suspects may be extremely hard to track down.

Melissa Berry’s ex-boyfriend was the one who shared the pictures of her for the internet to see; even going as far as to picture message them to Berry’s own mother. Berry’s mother, Janette Vogel, said “This man… I won’t call him a gentleman”, and rightfully so. Put yourself in the position this mother is in, where her daughter is the target of a malicious attack aimed toward exposing the most private aspects of her life. It creates a different view on the case. The problem with most revenge pornography cases is the fact that many people will belittle the overwhelming emotional degradation experienced by a victim, and therefore rate its severity much lower than deserved. This creates grieving victims with a lack of support and few stances of leverage.

Melissa earned her support through valid points, evidence and analogies, which in turn persuaded a jury to award her with $600,000 to compensate for her “pain and suffering” which is a legal term based on emotional losses and is measured realistically by the judge and jury. The fact that the jury is allowed to have some sort of personal say on this case is what makes justice a possible factor in situations like this; it gives hope to the victims who would normally feel hopeless. The perpetrator, Mark Dawson, claimed he’d never be able to afford the $600,000 damages award.

This is just one positive case where the outcome was just and the criminal was punished accordingly. There are countless amounts of cases every year in which the victim is not sure of which step to take next, or is too submissive during said fight to stand as a worthy opponent in court. This leads to lost cases, very small compensation settlements, and failure to remove the nonconsensual content, etc. This in turn creates outcomes which are just generally less effective than planned by the victim and could cause more pain and suffering than originally endured. If you are a victim currently suffering emotionally due to a revenge pornography case, don’t be quiet about it. It’s extremely difficult to make a notable content removal request to a website, especially one which is run by your ex-boyfriend. At Sibley Dolman Gipe Accident Injury Lawyers, PA, we strive in not only the removal of the victim’s photos, but also a general halt in the website’s continuation.

Here at Dolman Law, we fight for the victims of these cases and obtain the compensation they deserve and are owed. If you or someone you know has suffered from losses—be it emotionally, physically, or monetarily—, experienced a loss of enjoyment of life, or has died as a result to someone else’s negligence, you may be in line for a settlement. Don’t wait another minute to start your case; Sibley Dolman Gipe Accident Injury Lawyers, PA offers a free consultation and case evaluation, giving you the risk-free opportunity to learn your rights and options. Call us today at 727-451-6900 or use our quick and easy online form to speak with an experienced revenge pornography attorney and get started on your case today!

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Clearwater, FL 33756

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