Vidalia woman arrested for allegedly posting nude photograph of another women on Facebook

Published 1:50 am Friday, April 7, 2017

VIDALIA — A Vidalia woman was arrested Tuesday for allegedly posting a nude photograph of another woman on Facebook.

Vidalia police charged Atoya Janese Smith, 26, 1115 Pear St., with nonconsensual disclosure of a private image, which is a violation of a relatively new state law.

Vidalia Investigator Clint Robinson said Thursday the victim originally sent the private image to a person who is now her ex-boyfriend. Robinson said the man is now Smith’s boyfriend, and unbeknownst to him, Smith reportedly obtained the image and posted it on Facebook.

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“The victim found out about it and filed a complaint,” Robinson said. “Because of the embarrassing and harassing nature of it, the subject was arrested.”

The image has since been removed from Facebook, but Robinson said many had already seen it and at least one screenshot had been taken.

Smith was released on a reduced $5,000 bond Wednesday. Judge Kathy Johnson had originally set the bond at $15,000.

The new law, known as a “revenge pornography” law, was introduced in 2015 along with several other laws related to potential cyber crimes. Anyone who shares a nude or partially nude picture or video without permission could face up to two years in jail and a fine up to $10,000.

Robinson said Vidalia would be enforcing the statutes. A communication on social media, telephone or email intending to harass or degrade someone could be illegal, and Robinson asked people to think twice before clicking send.

“People still think it is a defense to say, ‘Well, I didn’t know,’” Robinson said. “You will still end up in jail for cyberstalking or different crimes of that nature.

“We are starting to ramp up on it. We are doing everything we can at the Vidalia Police Department to prevent it, deter it and educate people about it.”