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"Victims are often blamed – 'You shouldn't have taken the photos in the first place; you shouldn't have given the photographs – even if you didn't give them," said D'Amico. "Law enforcement would enforce better if they knew more. Some law enforcement officers literally don't know anything about revenge porn laws."
Samantha (not her real name), 23, discovered that when she went to Chesterfield Township police after her former boyfriend of three years, "who I thought was someone I knew, that I loved," made a sex tape of the two of them after she expressly told him she didn't want to.
"We were having sex one night (in July 2016) and he decided to film me without asking me or telling me nothing – so clearly he could not have consent," Samantha said. "We had had multiple discussions about making a sex tape, and each time I told him I wasn't comfortable and it wasn't something I wanted to do, so he was aware I wasn't OK with it.
"After he filmed it, he told me. I told him to delete it, and he wouldn't. He didn't show it to me. It was on his phone, and he showed me it existed."
She said she was profoundly uncomfortable, and didn't know what to do. "I was very embarrassed. A few days later we broke up. At that time, I begged him to delete the video and he said it was gone, and I didn't have to worry about it."
But in reality, Samantha did have a lot to worry about. She just didn't know it until Thanksgiving. Now living in the Kalamazoo area, she returned to Macomb County, and decided to stop by and visit her ex, with whom she had once again become friendly.
"I asked him if I could use his computer to play a video game," Samantha recalled. "When I went on, I found the original video (of the sex tape), and multiple edited versions. I wasn't on his computer looking for this – I just happened on it. I confronted him about it, and I told him it was illegal because he filmed it without my consent. He said it wasn't – 'It's my video and you have no control over it.'"
She repeatedly begged him to delete the video, even trying to delete it herself from his computer, when he physically restrained her and turned off the computer.
"I thought I could reason with him. I loved him. I thought he respected me, and if I reasoned with him, he would relent and delete it," she recalled.
Toying with her, he told her he would delete it – but not in front of her, and that he couldn't know all of the places where it was appearing.
Eventually, she attempted to make a police report in Chesterfield Township, but received no cooperation. Living in Kalamazoo County, she sought help there, and received assistance from a detective who took her under his wing – but ultimately, couldn't fully assist her....continued on page 9