Skip to main content

Minnesota Supreme Court upholds state's 'revenge porn' laws

The Court of Appeals had previously found the state's laws regarding nonconsensual sharing of explicit content to be unconstitutional.

Reversing a previous ruling, the Minnesota Supreme Court has deemed "revenge porn" unprotected speech.

In a Wednesday ruling, the Minnesota Supreme Court overturned a decision by the Court of Appeals.

The Court of Appeals had previously found Minnesota’s laws prohibiting the nonconsensual distribution of explicit images and videos – aka "revenge porn" – to be too broad and a violation of the First Amendment. Wednesday’s ruling reverses that decision.

The ruling is a result of multiple challenges to the 2017 case of Michael Casillas, who posted a sexually explicit video of his ex-girlfriend online and sent it to 44 people.

Casillas was charged with a felony violation of Minnesota’s revenge porn laws. He then moved to dismiss the charges in Dakota County District Court, alleging Minnesota’s laws against nonconsensual distribution of the explicit content were unconstitutional.

The district court denied the motion and Casillas was sentenced to 23 months in prison.

Sign up for our BREAKING NEWS newsletters

But a Court of Appeals later determined the state’s law was too broad and therefore unconstitutional. That ruling was overturned by the Wednesday decision by the Minnesota Supreme Court, which upheld the state statute that Casillas was convicted under.

The Minnesota Supreme Court did send the case back to the Court of Appeals to consider other aspects of Casillas’ claims.

“Based on this broad and direct threat to its citizens’ health and safety, we find that the State has carried its burden of showing a compelling governmental interest in criminalizing the nonconsensual dissemination of private sexual images,” the ruling reads. 

Next Up

walz flanagan lorie shaull flickr

Gov. proposes 'Walz Checks' for most Minnesotans

The governor wants to use $700 million of the state's surplus to fund the payments.

Hutch crash booking photo

Walz, Flanagan call on Hennepin Co. sheriff to resign

"I would say that it is time for him to resign," the Lt. Gov. said.

line 3 enbridge portage lake hubbard county mn tony webster flickr

Months after missing deadline, Enbridge says Line 3 aquifer breach is fixed

The company told Bring Me The News it "successfully stopped the flow of groundwater" at the site.

canada bodies found

Baby, teenager among 4 found dead along MN, Canada border

Authorities believe all four froze to death.

unsplash roller rink skates CROP

Former roller rink, tennis courts will become new sports hub

The Wooddale Fun Zone has been closed since spring of 2020.

hibachi daruma

Popular hibachi food truck opens second Twin Cities restaurant

The much-anticipated Daruma opens for takeout Thursday evening.

20211128_Vikings_49ers_REG12_0144 (1)

What changes are coming to the Vikings' offensive line?

Once again, Minnesota has work to do to figure out its interior spots

Kris Ehresmann

One of Minnesota's key COVID-19 leaders is retiring

Kris Ehresmann has given more than 30 years of her life to public health in Minnesota.

summit beach park orono

Plan to develop Orono park on hold after Daytons object

The Dayton family donated the land to the city for the park in the 1970s.

covid nurse doctor hospital wikimedia commons

Child from Twin Cities, school staff member die from COVID

Both deaths were reported by the Minnesota Department of Health Thursday.

snow

3 clippers will deliver snow to Minnesota through Tuesday

Clippers move through Friday night, Saturday night and again Monday.

Screen Shot 2022-01-20 at 10.45.51 AM

Video: Inebriated Sheriff Dave Hutchinson after high-speed crash

Hutchinson was unaware of his location and repeatedly said he wasn't driving.

Related

Pixabay - pistol holster handgun

Permit-to-carry law doesn't violate 2nd amendment, MN Supreme Court says

A man charged with carrying a pistol without a permit argued it was unconstitutional.

court gavel

MN Supreme Court rules in favor of employment protections for unpaid interns, students

The case stemmed from a St. Mary's University doctoral student's experience at a practicum.

Screen Shot 2019-07-18 at 9.10.30 AM

Minneapolis residents WILL vote on future of MPD following Supreme Court ruling

The Supreme Court decision reverses a previous action by a Hennepin County Judge.