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Upload an unauthorized sex video, go to jail

Don’t say we didn’t warn you.


Jennifer Abel

Internet Culture

We don’t want to make a habit of teaching criminals how to get away with their crimes. But we need to say this: if you film yourself doing something illegal and then upload the video to YouTube, you’re guaranteed to get caught. If you don’t believe us, consider these two cautionary tales from the past two days.

On May 9, two Kentucky high school students were arrested after they secretly shot an upskirt video of their teacher, then uploaded the video to YouTube. A representative of the Jefferson County sheriff’s department told local news station WLKY that 18-year-olds Eugene Cain and Devon Ewing were arrested on charges of video voyeurism: “One distracted the teacher in the classroom while the other one positioned himself to hold a camera with video capabilities underneath her skirt.”

Though they might’ve got away with it had they kept the video to themselves. Instead, they put it on YouTube and told fellow students where to find it. They were arrested on May 10.

But Cain and Ewing might, possibly, cite “teenage thoughtlessness” as an excuse for their actions. That’s not true of 32-year-old Michael Sewell of Houston, Texas, arrested May 11 and charged with felony-level improper photography or visual recording. Sewell created a compilation of sex videos he and his ex-girlfriend made in happier days and posted it on YouTube.

Sewell told police that he posted the video hoping to embarrass his ex and get her fired.

If anyone reading this still plans to criminally invade another’s privacy on YouTube, remember: When the cops show up to arrest you, you have the right to an attorney and the right to remain silent, but not the right to be surprised by your arrest. That was inevitable from the moment you went online.

Photo by xmacex


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