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Texas woman who had to give up teaching career wins $250,000 in revenge porn lawsuit, attorneys say

Attorneys for the Collin County woman say her ex-boyfriend posted "intimate images" of her that appeared on hundreds of web pages over four years.
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COLLIN COUNTY, Texas — A North Texas woman has won $250,000 after she filed a revenge porn and invasion of privacy lawsuit against her ex-boyfriend, attorneys for the woman announced Monday.

The lawsuit had claimed the ex-boyfriend, 26-year-old Diego Rotea, of Allen, posted "intimate images" of the woman that appeared on over 200 web pages on the internet over a four-year period.

A jury sided with the Collin County woman, only identified as Jane Doe, in November 2021, and she was awarded the $250,000 on Monday.

"I wanted that accountability. I wanted the validation that it wasn't my fault," the woman said in statement. "... I remember the feeling that there was nothing that I could do... this was just something that was going to continue to affect my life, for the rest of my life, that it was this hopeless thing."

According to her attorney, Rotea posted over 25 explicit photos of the woman starting in December 2016. She discovered the images posted online in November 2018 and went to local police departments for help.

Her attorney said the Allen Police Department didn't pursue an investigation. Nearly two years later in June 2020, the woman told Frisco police about the images but the department only performed a "cursory investigation," according to the attorney.

She told Rotea to stop posting the images, but they continued to spread throughout the internet in 2020. Her attorney said the woman even had to give up her career as a middle school teacher due to fear of the images being discovered.

"This has been a living nightmare that, sadly, has become all too common," attorney Kenton Hutcherson said in a statement. "This jury heard the evidence and understood the profound impact this nightmare has had on this young woman. Hopefully, the verdict will send a message that behavior like this is outrageous and can have costly consequences."

The Collin County judge in the trial also ordered a permanent injunction that would have Rotea remove the images from websites and message boards.

According to her attorney, the $250,000 win is also the largest award given in a lawsuit that involved the Texas Relationship Privacy Act. The act was put into place in 2015 to criminalize revenge porn.

"There's a part of me that's 'yes, this is over' and there's another part where I know that this will continue to crop up in my life," the woman said. "Hopefully not very frequently. But on another level they did also mandate that if it does crop up he is still held accountable for any future instances of those posts."

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