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Criminal Law Keyed to Kennedy
State of Vermont v. Rebekah S. VanBuren
Citation:2018 WL 417776 (2018)
A complainant contacted police after she discovered that someone had posted naked pictures of her on a Facebook account belonging to Anthony Coon. Complainant called Mr. Coon and left a message asking that the pictures be deleted. The defendant called complainant back on Mr. Coon’s phone and she called complainant a “moraless pig” and told her that she was going to contact complainant’s employer, a child-care facility. When complainant asked defendant to remove the pictures, defendant responded that she was going to ruin complainant and get revenge.
Complainant told police that she had taken naked pictures of herself and sent them to Mr. Coon through Facebook Messenger. She advised that the pictures had been sent privately so that no one else could view them. Defendant admitted to the officer that she saw complainant’s pictures on Mr. Coon’s Facebook account and that she posted them on Facebook using Mr. Coon’s account. Defendant asked the officer if he thought complainant had “learned her lesson.” Defendant described herself as Mr. Coon’s girlfriend.
The defendant was charged by information of violating 13 V.S.A. § 2606(b)(1). She filed a motion to dismiss, arguing that violated the First Amendment because it restricted protected speech and it could not survive strict scrutiny. Defendant also asserted that complainant had no reasonable expectation of privacy because she took the pictures herself and messaged them to Mr. Coon without any promise on his part to keep the pictures private. Defendant cited 13 V.S.A. § 2606(d)(1).
The trial court granted the motion. The State appealed, requesting that the court review the trial court’s ruling that 13 V.S.A. § 2606(b)(1) is unconstitutional.
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