Over the past month, newspapers, Facebook feeds and online news sites have been filled with stories and opinion pieces on two high-profile sex scandals: Subway spokesman Jared Fogle was just charged with a variety of sex abuse crimes, including possession of child pornography, and the data leak from the Ashley Madison website has brought several celebrities, including 19 Kids and Counting star Josh Duggar, into an unpleasant spotlight.
Obviously there’s a huge difference between possessing child porn and soliciting sex and having an account on the Ashley Madison website, which offers people the opportunity to engage in discreet affairs with other accountholders.
However, the public spectacle that followed each story has made many people wonder — how much information is too much to share about an alleged sexual predator or criminal? Where is the line drawn when it comes to revealing personal information about someone involved in a sex scandal to the public?
The Jared Fogle Scenario
Jared Fogle recently admitted to several counts of child pornography possession and crossing state lines to pay for sex with minors, according to news reports. He is set to spend at least five years in prison and will be making restitution to all of the 14 people with whom he was accused of having inappropriate sexual contact.
Because of his ad campaign with Subway, Fogle was already in the public spotlight, but now, in light of recent events, he’s facing an abundance of public exposure. The media has published a wealth of information about him and has ensured that his name is constantly in the public’s eye by spreading news of his crimes and the details of his trial through every available outlet.
Ashley Madison and Josh Duggar
In contrast, the Ashley Madison hack did not reveal criminal activity, but rather the sexual indiscretions and extracurricular activities of some 30 million people -- all of whom had their account information posted online. For the average person, having an account on the site might lead to some uncomfortable personal confrontations from a spouse and family members.
But for those in public office or in the public eye, like Josh Duggar and the nearly 15,000 users with government or military email addresses, the fallout can have drastic results.
After the media reported that Josh Duggar had an account on the site that advertises itself as a service for people who “want to have a secret affair,” the star of the TLC show that promotes families and religious values checked himself into rehab and his every move has been closely tracked by news reporters.
At Helmer, Conley, and Kasselman, PA, our New Jersey sexual assault attorneys represent anyone who has been charged with sex crimes, including abuse and assault. Even if you have been charged with criminal activity, you have a right to privacy and protection as your case is being heard.
No matter what the charges, innocent until proven guilty is still the standard and negative press can have a lasting impact on your image and reputation. For more information regarding your rights during a criminal investigation and trial, contact an HCK attorney to discuss your case today.