Bringing Offenders into Focus: Prosecuting Image Exploitation

Image exploitation involves the nonconsensual creation, possession, or distribution of an image or images depicting victims nude, semi-nude, engaged in consensual sexual activity, or being sexually assaulted. It exposes victims to immeasurable trauma of essentially infinite duration, permanently invading their autonomy and security. As technology continues to evolve more quickly than the law, investigators and prosecutors must be prepared to address image exploitation crimes by collaborating on digital investigations; leveraging existing, if imperfect, statutes; and combating victim-blaming attitudes. 

This presentation explores the various forms of image exploitation and the types of statutes under which this abuse can be prosecuted. The presenter provides strategies to introduce relevant digital evidence while ethically safeguarding victim privacy. Resources are also be provided to support victims who would like to explore non-criminal avenues of achieving justice. 

At the conclusion of this presentation, participants will be better able to:
-Identify crimes of image exploitation and available statutes that may be used to prosecute offenders.
-Make charging decisions that hold offenders accountable for the full extent of their criminal behavior.
-Combat victim-blaming attitudes and articulate the harm caused by offenders who commit crimes of image exploitation.