I met my partner the old fashion way. We noticed each other one night at the bar. Looks were exchanged, then drinks, phone numbers and the rest is history. There was no virtual poke, no swiping right or snapchat friend requests involved.

Times have changed because there were certainly no sexually explicit photos being exchanged.

The problem with the ease of communication is that many forget to think about the larger and more serious consequences that can come from a thoughtless snap.

Would the intimate selfie still be a part of the dating world if the sender and the receiver knew the potential legal nightmare they could get themselves into?

Here are a few reasons why you should think twice before sending or receiving private photos:

1. Sexual Harassment
Unsolicited sexually explicit pictures of body parts can be considered sexual harassment. Sexual harassment is not in and of itself a criminal offence. Instead, it is a tort, meaning you can get sued for it.

2. Criminal Harassment (Criminal Offence)
The sender could constitute criminal harassment if they continue to send unsolicited photos of private parts repeatedly. This is serious as criminal harassment is a criminal offence.

3. Privacy Interests
On the receiving end, it is tough not to share an image you were sent with your friends. However, the sender has privacy interests in what they send. Thus, the sharing of an intimate photo could result in criminal prosecution.

4. Sex Offender
Sending any type of explicit photo to a minor is a criminal offence. It doesn’t matter if you are a fresh 18 and the recipient is 17. Sending an explicit photo could net you a sex offender designation and a criminal record for sexually related offences.

5. Child Pornography
Life gets even worse if the 17-year-old reciprocates the gesture. Receiving a sexually explicit photo from a minor (someone under the age of 18) puts you in possession of child pornography and mandatory minimum jail sentences apply. Additionally, sharing an image of the minor with friends can be categorized as distributing child pornography, with more mandatory minimums upon conviction.

While all of this may seem funny, the consequences are anything but for the younger crowd. Knowing the legal repercussions will perhaps give you a second thought when giving, sending, or saving that next intimate selfie.

Sexual assault is not a laughing manner. If you or someone you know has been the victim of any form of sexual assault, Millars Law is here to help.

Voted Corporate International Global Award Winner 2018 for being Canada’s top victim rights law firm, the crew at Millars Law works tirelessly every day to hold abusers accountable and bring justice to victims of sexual abuse and sexual violence.

(519) 657-1LAW or Info@millarslaw.com


By Nick Cake