North Carolina has strict laws governing public morality and decency. Under these laws and others, it is a serious crime to distribute a photograph, film, video, or any digital reproduction of a person’s intimate sexual parts without the consent of the person. In most cases, doing so is a felony.
Peeping Tom Laws
In North Carolina, it is a crime to take photos of intimate body parts of anyone without consent. In other words, you have the right to privacy — including in your home or another’s home, at work, in a public restroom or locker room, in a dorm or apartment, and at school. If someone took explicit pictures of you without authorization, you are the victim of a crime under a special North Carolina law called Secretly Peeping Into a Room Occupied By Another Person.
That Peeping Law holds the perpetrator responsible criminally for a felony, and it also allows victims of this kind of crime to recover damages AND attorney fees in a civil suit:
“Any person whose image is captured or disseminated in violation of this section has a civil cause of action against any person who captured or disseminated the image or procured any other person to capture or disseminate the image and is entitled to recover from those persons actual damages, punitive damages, reasonable attorneys’ fees and other litigation costs reasonably incurred.”
What does this mean? It means that even if the victim did not suffer direct financial harm, the crime is taken so seriously that the victim can seek monetary damages against many people:
- The person or company who took the picture/video
- The person or company who disseminated the picture/video (this means anyone who forwarded a text, email, social media post, etc.)
- The person or company who asked, encouraged, dared, or hired another person to forward the picture/video
Contact us if you think you or someone you know has been victimized. We will help you determine if you are entitled to compensation under North Carolina law.