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Editorial Opinion and Virginia Law regarding Virginia Candidate Susanna Gibson’s Sex Tapes

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September 13, 2023 by Tom Roberts, Esq.

Presidential Bid Next?  The bar is already so low, why not? (As long as the election is determined by metropolitan voters she would finish strong and come in 1st)

Overall Result for 57th District:

Henrico County Results:

Goochland County Results:

Susanna Gibson’s response to the Washington Post’s exposure of her sex exhibition demonstrates just how low the bar has come for leaders in our country.  Virginia Democratic candidate Susanna Gibson with her husband, local attorney John David Gibson, streamed on a public website their sexual acts soliciting tips and tokens “raising money for a good cause.”  They did this on a sleazy porn site known as “Chaturbate” for her 5,770 voyeur followers.  Apparently some of her streaming kinky acts were recorded and archived to a public website “Recurbate.”

“an illegal invasion of my privacy designed to humiliate me and my family.” – Virginia Democrat Candidate Susanna Gibson

“raising money for a good cause.” – Virginia Democrat Candidate Susanna Gibson

“sex crime to attack me and my family” – Virginia Democrat Candidate Susanna Gibson

Play the Victim

“they’re willing to commit a sex crime to attack me and my family because there’s no line they won’t cross to silence women when they speak up.” – Virginia Democrat Candidate Susanna Gibson

 She doesn’t accept responsibility or apologize for her lack of judgment and sex exhibition but wants to play the victim, accusing her opponent of “stooping to the worst gutter politics.”  Implicit in her statement is the potentially defaming factual assertion that her opponent was actually involved in leaking to a national news source what was already public — her uninhibited sexual exhibitionism. She claims that her “political opponents and their Republican allies have proven they’re willing to commit a sex crime to attack me and my family…”    If she thought a wider audience for her kinky sex exhibition was an attack on her and her family, she might have used better judgment and not streamed it to the public in the first place.  The Washington Post reported that in a written statement she claimed exposing the videos was “an illegal invasion of my privacy designed to humiliate me and my family.”  Is a wider audience for this exhibitionist really humiliating?  Finally, she comes back to victimhood, claiming “they’re willing to commit a sex crime to attack me and my family because there’s no line they won’t cross to silence women when they speak up.”  Seriously?  Most voters might think the Gibsons crossed that line, when she was asking for tips and tokens to perform the sex acts for her prurient audience. 

“A popular Government, without popular information, or the means of acquiring it, is but a Prologue to a Farce or a Tragedy; or, perhaps both. Knowledge will forever govern ignorance: And a people who mean to be their own Governors, must arm themselves with the power which knowledge gives.” (To W. T. Barry, Aug. 4, 1822). 9 Writings of James Madison 103 (G. Hunt ed. 1910).

Branzburg v. Hayes, 408 U.S. 665, 723

Susanna Gibson’s DC Attorney’s comments on Virginia law 

Susanna Gibson’s Washington D.C., K Street lawyer, Daniel P. Watkins argues that the circulating the videos is a violation of Virginia’s revenge porn law, reporting to the Washington Post that they are “working with state and federal law enforcement” claiming that disseminating the videos constitutes a violation of Virginia’s revenge porn law which makes it a Class 1 misdemeanor to “maliciously” distributes nude or sexual images of another person with “intent to coerce, harass, or intimidate” under Virginia Code § 18.2-386.1.  Watkins pointed to Johnson v. Commonwealth, 73 Va. App. 393, 400-401 (2021),  where the Virginia Court of Appeals found that consent to be seen is not the same as consent to being recorded.   Here, he is mixing two separate but related statutes–the statute prohibiting certain dissemination and the statute prohibiting recording. The Virginia Court of Appeals looked at the statute prohibiting recording, and recognized a stark difference between being seen and being recorded.  Virginia Code § 18.2-386.2 prohibits the “dissemination” of the nude videos or still images if the dissemination is “malicious” and with the “intent to coerce, harass or intimidate.”  The statute does not prohibit the dissemination of the videos and still images when the purpose is to show that Susanna Gibson is not the best candidate, as that speech is clearly protected by the 1st Amendment to the United States Constitution.  Likewise, since the 1st Amendment covers not only dissemination of public information but also gathering of such information, the 1st Amendment to the United States will also set the guardrails against any prosecutions in this case.

Gibson’s apparent attempt to censor the truth is not likely to be successful

A California court examined the expectation of privacy of a political candidate and denied the claims of an invasion of that privacy, stating that reporting news is speech subject to the First Amendment if it concerns a public issue or an issue of public interest. The court stated ”The character and qualifications of a candidate for public office constitutes a ‘public issue or public interest.’” This constitutional guarantee of free speech has its fullest and most urgent application precisely as related to the conduct of those campaigning for political office.  The court stated “The right to speak on political matters is the quintessential subject matter of our constitutional protections of the right to speech.”  Further “Public discussion about the qualifications of those who hold or who wish to hold positions of public trust presents the strongest possible case for applications of the safeguards afforded by the First Amendment”. Hill v. Heslep, California 2021, and Collier v. Harris, 240 Cal. App. 4th 41, 52 (2015

Susanna Gibson’s unique approach to sex scandals

So, Susanna Gibson isn’t the first politician accused of sex scandals.  There’s Republican President Donald Trump,  Democrat President Bill Clinton, Virginia Democrat Representative Bobby Scott, and Democrat Joe Morrisey, just to begin a lengthy list of politicians.  What makes Susanna Gibson so unique is she doesn’t deny actions or show remorse, she just plays the victim simply because the public gets to see what kind of unabashed person she is.

With national recognition, maybe she will run for Congress

She is running as the Democratic candidate for the Virginia House of Representatives for the state District 57.  With this sudden boost in publicity, maybe she will consider a run for Congress or the White House.  The bar has already been lowered for her.

Where there is no shame, there is no honor

More Information

Lots of money from outside Henrico County!

Thomas H Roberts & Associates, PC
105 S 1st Street,
Richmond, VA 23219
804-783-2000

Disclaimer

The materials are prepared for information purposes only.  The materials are not legal advice.  You should not act upon the information without seeking the advice of an attorney.  Nothing herein creates an attorney-client relationship.


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