Please advise me on what case should I file against the roommate of my boyfriend who took my pictures during my intimate time with my boyfriend. I found out through a friend that my boyfriend’s roommate had my naked pictures which he allegedly took without my consent. He’s also been sending these pictures to his other friends. I hope you can advise me on this matter. Thanks!
The crime committed by the roommate of your boyfriend who took and distributed your naked pictures without your consent is the violation of Republic Act (R.A.) No. 9995, known as the Anti-Photo and Video Voyeurism Act of 2009.
According to this law, the following acts are considered illegal and punishable by law:
“Section 4. Prohibited Acts. – It is hereby prohibited and declared unlawful for any person:
(a) To take photo or video coverage of a person or group of persons performing sexual act or any similar activity or to capture an image of the private area of a person/s such as the naked or undergarment clad genitals, pubic area, buttocks or female breast without the consent of the person/s involved and under circumstances in which the person/s has/have a reasonable expectation of privacy;
(b) To copy or reproduce, or to cause to be copied or reproduced, such photo or video or recording of sexual act or any similar activity with or without consideration;
(c) To sell or distribute, or cause to be sold or distributed, such photo or video or recording of sexual act, whether it be the original copy or reproduction thereof; or
(d) To publish or broadcast, or cause to be published or broadcast, whether in print or broadcast media, or show or exhibit the photo or video coverage or recordings of such sexual act or any similar activity through VCD/DVD, internet, cellular phones and other similar means or device.
The prohibition under paragraphs (b), (c) and (d) shall apply notwithstanding that consent to record or take photo or video coverage of the same was given by such person/s. Any person who violates this provision shall be liable for photo or video voyeurism as defined herein” (RA No. 9995) (Emphasis supplied).
This aforementioned provision of the law clearly enumerates the different manner by which any person can violate this law. Among those enumerated here is the act of taking pictures of another person in his/her private and intimate moment and distributing them, which is exactly what the roommate of your boyfriend, did to you. As such, it is clear that he may be charged for violating this law and be punished accordingly.
Should the alleged crime committed by the roommate of your boyfriend be proven in Court, he may be punished with an imprisonment of not less than three years but not more than seven years and/or a fine ranging from P100,000 to P500,000 at the discretion of the court.
Again, we find it necessary to mention that this opinion is solely based on the facts you have narrated and our appreciation of the same. The opinion may vary when the facts are changed or elaborated.
We hope that we were able to enlighten you on the matter.
Editor’s note: Dear PAO is a daily column of the Public Attorney’s Office. Questions for Chief Acosta may be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org