The Legal Implications of Rob Kardashians Actions Against Blac Chyna

This week Instagram audiences were left wanting more in the situation unraveling before our eyes on Instagram between Rob Kardashian and Blac Chyna. But as we sat back and watched social media go into a frenzy, viewers are left to wonder, are Rob Kardashian’s actions truly legal?


Concerned followers on the day of the event posted information on how Rob broke the revenge porn laws implemented in the state of California in October, 2013. Under SB 255, an act of revenge porn is defined as someone who “photographs or records by any means the image of the intimate body part or parts of another identifiable person, under circumstances where the parties agree or understand that the image shall remain private, and the person subsequently distributes the image taken, with the intent to cause serious emotional distress, and the depicted person suffers serious emotional distress.”


If we start deconstructing this law, we can analyze what actions Rob Kardashian committed that are convictable. Rob did post a picture of genitalia of a female, with tattoos allowing the female to be identified as Blac Chyna. The image was most likely supposed to be kept private, and he posted these photos with malicious intent. This though is only the beginning. Robs actions proceed to break three other laws at this time, but there could be more.

Prosecutors in California can charge someone with a misdemeanor offense if they think they can prove, beyond a reasonable doubt, the following (Cal. Penal Code § 647(j)(4)(A).):

  • Intentional distribution.  The defendant intentionally distributed an image of the intimate bodily parts of another identifiable person, or an image of another identifiable person engaged in a sexual act.
  • Intention of the parties.  The persons involved agreed or understood that the image was to remain private.
  • Likely consequence.  The individual distributing knew or should have known that distributing the image would cause serious emotional distress, and
  • Actual harm.  The person depicted suffered serious emotional distress.

Unlawful distribution of a private image is a misdemeanor in California. (Cal. Penal Code § 647(j)(4)(A).) Anyone convicted of this misdemeanor in California faces up to six months in jail (Cal. Penal Code § 19), a fine of up to $1,000 (Cal. Penal Code § 19), or both.

The maximum charge a person who has engaged in unauthorized use of an electronic device to distribute a digital image of another person or to send a harassing message faces is a felony charge in California. (Cal. Penal Code § 502.) A person convicted of this felony in California faces 16 months, or two to three years in prison, a fine of up to $10,000, or both. (Cal. Penal Code § 502.)

Rob though can be charged if he is sued by Blac Chyna or another party representing her. These facts though lead followers only to wonder, has Rob gone too far?


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