A Massachusetts woman plans to sue Facebook for not taking down a Facebook page that was created in her name by her rapist, who used the page to post nude photos of the woman and publicly embarrass her.
“I could not walk my own dog down the street without being made to feel like a piece of meat or a piece of trash,” the victim said.
The rapist, Reid Jones, plead guilty to the crime this week. Prosecutors said that Jones took pictures of the assault and then posted them to the phony page to humiliate the victim, who had turned down Jones’ romantic advances. Jones was sentenced to five to seven years in a state prison for the crime, and a concurrent sentence of 4 ½ to five years for sexual assault and for photographing the crime.
The victim was assaulted when she fell asleep at a party, and only learned of it a month later when her friends told her about the fake profile. She says that Facebook ignored her requests to take down the page, though they finally complied when she obtained a court order for the page to be removed.
Judge Howard Whitehead, who oversaw the case, summed up eloquently why crimes like this one on social networks can cause such long-lasting damage for victims.
“[It was] particularly malicious,” he said. “You can take the pictures down, but you can’t remove the impression people formed when they saw those photos.”