It is certainly not illegal to possess explicit pictures of an intimate partner, as long as they have given you their consent to take the pictures or they have given those photos directly to you. Many couples engage in the practice of exchanging such photos, and this is legal as long as both parties are adults and have consented to the process.
However, if you have these pictures, what you do with them is very important. Any sort of distribution of those photos could be charged as a crime under Ohio law. This is true even though you legally possessed the photos, to begin with. Allowing them to spread to a third party – or to the general public – can be a violation of the other person’s rights if they never gave you consent to do so.
What counts as distribution?
Distribution simply means making it so that other people have access to these photos without the permission of the person depicted in the photo itself.
For example, there was a case where a disgruntled former partner printed off photos and then brought the printed images to the person’s workplace. They also brought them to their children’s school. In both places, they scattered the printed photos on the grounds. They were charged with a misdemeanor in this case.
But it is more common for these pictures to be distributed online or through digital means. Always remember that it is illegal to post them online or even to text them “confidentially” to another person.
What are your defense options?
You can see how a split-second decision to send a photo to someone else could have drastic ramifications and could leave you facing serious charges. Make sure that you are well aware of all of the defense options at your disposal.