Court Awards More Than $300,000 to PSLS Client in Cyber Exploitation Case, Sets a Legal Precedent

July 8, 2024

WINNEBAGO COUNTY — On May 7, 2024, the Illinois Fourth District Appellate Court affirmed the trial court’s decision to award more than $300,000 to Jane Doe, a victim of image-based sexual abuse. The case is the first published appellate decision in accordance with the Illinois Civil Remedies for Nonconsensual Dissemination of Private Sexual Images Act. The decision is significant, because it sets a legal precedent and can be cited in other cases.

PSLS filed a lawsuit on behalf of Jane Doe after she discovered that the Defendant had shared a private video of her to a pornographic website as retaliation after she ended their relationship. The video contained private sexual footage of Jane Doe along with personal details including her full name, where she lived, and that she was a single mother. During the case, Jane Doe expressed her fear that the video may never be fully removed from the internet and described how that impacts every facet of her life.

Jesse Hodierne, Managing Attorney for PSLS’ Rockford Office, litigated the case on behalf of Jane Doe. Hodierne says, “PSLS is committed to protecting survivors of abuse and domestic violence and will utilize all appropriate legal tools to do so. This appellate decision establishes a strong legal precedent under this new statute and sends a powerful message to would-be abusers.”

For more information, read the full decision.