Hidalgo police arrested a man last month for allegedly sharing intimate images of an ex-girlfriend on Snapchat without her consent, according to a Hidalgo Police Department offense report.
On May 27, the victim filed a report with police after a friend saw two “intimate pictures” of her allegedly posted by an ex-boyfriend, identified as Ricardo Gomez Jr. The friend recorded the material and texted it to the victim, according to police.
Hidalgo police are in possession of the video recording, according to the report.
Gomez, 21, of Pharr, was arrested May 30 and charged with unlawful disclosure or promotion of intimate visual material, specifically on the social media app Snapchat, and released on a $12,500 personal recognizance bond.
If convicted, Gomez could face a $4,000 fine and a year in jail.
‘Revenge porn’ statute
Texas passed S.B. 1135, a “revenge porn” statute, in 2015 with bipartisan support. It’s a class A misdemeanor to post or share intimate images of someone without their knowledge or consent.
The constitutionality of the law was challenged based on the First Amendment, and the Texas 12th Court of Appeals in Tyler stuck down the law in April 2018. The appeal is still pending in the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals.
Critics complained the statue is too broad and included third-party participants that lacked knowledge or intent.
The Texas 86th Legislative Session passed House Bill 98, which aims to fix or tweak the law. It requires an individual to have intent to harm and for the defendant to have had a reasonable expectation the materials would remain private.
Governor Greg Abbott still has to sign the clarification into law.