Have you Been Charged with Publication of the Name of a Rape Victim in Georgia?
While many people are familiar with various sex crimes, some people are unaware that harboring, concealing, or withholding information concerning a sex offender is also a crime. Lawson and Berry and their team of Georgia Attorneys are familiar with criminal law and all of its intricacies. Let their Lawyers help with your case from the very beginning. A charge is not the same as a conviction and a conviction for doing one of these things can result in serious penalties. Contact us today for a free case evaluation because your future is at stake.
O.C.G.A. §16-6-23 states that it shall be unlawful for any news media or any other person to print and publish, televise, or disseminate through any other medium of public dissemination or cause to be printed and published, broadcast, televised, or disseminated in any newspaper, magazine, periodical, or other publication published in this state or through any radio or television broadcast originating in the state the name or identity of any female who may have been raped or upon whom an assault with intent to commit the offense of rape may have been made.
The reasoning behind the formation of this law was that the State deemed that they have a legitimate interest in protecting the privacy of a sexual assault victim. However, this law is limited in that it only protects the name and identity of a victim where the name appears in an open court record.
The Court has found that sometimes a victim's name must be published because their right to privacy is outweighed by a legitimate public interest. In the case of Macon Tel. Publishing Co. v. Tatum, the victim of sexual assault shot and killed her perpetrator of the assault. Therefore, the victim became the object of legitimate public interest, and the newspaper had the right under the United States and Georgia Constitutions to accurately report facts regarding the incident, including the victim's name. 263 Ga. 677, (1993).
Penalty for Publication of Name or Identity
A defendant convicted of publication of name or identity of a female raped will be charged as a misdemeanor. Misdemeanor charges come with a punishment of up to $1,000 in fines, one year in jail, or both.
It was not publicly published: If the information was disclosed in public court documents that are open to public inspection, then that is a valid argument outlined by the statute.
What are Not Defenses
It was not accidental: The statute does not require intent. Therefore, even an accidental publication will be sufficient for a conviction.
While publication of name or identity of a female raped or assaulted with intent to commit rape is not considered a felony, it still comes with consequences. It is best to hire an Attorney that is knowledgeable in criminal law and can help you with your case. Our Georgia Criminal Defense Lawyers have over 20 years of experience in criminal law so let their experience work for you. Contact them today for a free case evaluation.