Charlevoix County “Revenge Porn” Case

Bloomfield Hills Man Charged for Posting “Revenge Porn”

25-year-old Andrew Forbes Roche of Bloomfield Hills is facing a single felony count for allegedly posting images known as ‘revenge porn’ of his ex girlfriend. He is said to have posted the images along with the woman’s full identity and contact information.

By definition, revenge porn is any sexualized image or video of a person that is made public without their permission. While technically revenge porn can be and has been posted anywhere on the internet, including Facebook and Twitter, in this instance the image was posted to a site specifically for that purpose.

The images in question were apparently taken while Roche and the woman were in a relationship. They also included a number of nude selfies that she apparently sent to him while they were dating. After she ended their relationship, Roche decided to get revenge on her by making the private images public.

According to Gregory Justis, Charlevoix County’s Assistant Prosecuting Attorney, revenge porn is a form of abuse. In a recent press release he explains, in a very simple way, exactly what the purpose of revenge porn is. “The concept of revenge porn is simple: to use the victim’s most intimate moments and her most private space – her own body – to degrade and humiliate her, and to engage thousands or millions of strangers on the internet to participate in the act.”

In this particular instance, the images have allegedly been viewed more than 50,000 times, says Justis. He also goes on to point out how hard it is to have these kind of images removed from the internet once they are posted. There is no way to know how many times they have been shared, reposted, or saved in order to be reposted at a later date.

In addition, Justis explains, many of the host sites are actually located overseas and so there is no way to enforce the removal of the images. In many situations, the hosts will demand exorbitant fees in return for the removal of the images. Once they have been paid, however, they often do not remove the pictures, knowing that there is little anyone can do to stop them.

Roche has been charged with a single count of unlawful posting of a message, a two year felony under Michigan law. His trial is scheduled for February of 2016. However, no specific date or time has yet been released.

There are currently 28 states in the US that have specific laws against revenge porn, but Michigan is not one of them. There is, however, a pair of Michigan Senate Bills  passed by the Senate and now awaiting House approval that deal specifically with this issue.

Back to
Top ▲