Madison man charged under state's new privacy law

Madison man charged under state's new privacy law

MADISON COUNTY, AL (WAFF) - The Huntsville Police Department's special victims unit has charged a Madison man under a newly enacted state law on distribution of a private image.

Investigators charged 27-year-old Matthew Reyes, alleging he posted pictures of the victim online without consent. Investigators determined that Reyes posted the pictures in an attempt to harass the victim, which is a violation of the recently enacted state law.

The charge is a misdemeanor.

The law was enacted on Aug. 1 as part of Act 2017-414. The portion of the law which Reyes was charged under reads in part as follows:

Distribution of a private image occurs when:

  • A person knowingly distributes a private image with the intent to harass, threaten, coerce, or intimidate the person depicted
  • The person depicted did not consent to the transmission
  • The person depicted had a reasonable expectation of privacy

Investigators say Reyes is the first person in Madison County to be charged under this new law, and possibly one of the first in the state. They hope it serves as a warning to others who may think of posting private images of other people online without their consent.

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