The attorney for a 22-year-old man who shared two videos on Facebook recently told a judge his client is not fully responsible because the illicit images already were out there.
Another person initially sent the videos out, including to Dion A. Galvan, and from there it “spread like wildfire,” said lawyer Caleb DiPeso.
The videos showed an extremely intoxicated teen girl being forced to perform sex acts during a 2016 house party in Prosser. One video reportedly showed the girl begging for help.
DiPeso said it may be lost on people sometimes how easy it is to step back and think, and possibly decide not to forward questionable things.
Never miss a local story.
“It’s also easy to delete it, isn’t it?” asked Judge Bruce Spanner.
“I just can’t imagine what went through your head where you felt you could justify treating another human being that way,” he said to Galvan.
Galvan had been charged in Benton County Superior Court with second-degree dealing in depictions of a minor engaged in sexually explicit conduct, a felony.
In a plea deal, the Centralia man admitted a reduced charge of disclosing intimate images.
The gross misdemeanor charge includes the allegation that Galvan should have known the girl in the video had not consented to the disclosure, and that sharing it would cause her harm, according to court documents.
The videos were taken either through a crack or a hole in a bathroom door.
Deputy Prosecutor Diana Ruff said Galvan did not take the videos or engage in any sexual contact with the minor, but he forwarded the videos when he received them.
Many found out about it because of his actions, which were very hurtful to the victim, she said. People may think it is harmless to forward things on social media, but it is not.
The teen boys involved initially claimed it was consensual. They have since been prosecuted and convicted, and the girl has “moved out of the area because of the harassment she has been subjected to because of this incident,” said Ruff.
The girl and her family thought it was all resolved, and “her mother was not pleased that this case was filed after the other rape cases were resolved,” the prosecutor wrote in a court document.
If Ruff had taken the case to trial for dealing in child pornography, the prosecutor would have been required to prove that Galvan shared the videos for sexual gratification, instead of to embarrass or shame the victim.
This resolution brings the case to a close for the girl, holds Galvan responsible and is just considering his “relatively young age and lack of criminal history,” Ruff said.
Galvan was sentenced to two months in the county jail, and can do the time on a work crew or work release if eligible. He must report to the jail by Dec. 12.
Judge Spanner suspended 304 days on the sentence, which means Galvan can be ordered to do more time if he violates any court-ordered conditions over the next year.