Susanna Gibson Alleges that Critics Committed a “Sex Crime” In Exposing Her Alleged Streaming of Sex Acts

The bizarre story of Susanna Gibson and her running as a candidate for the House of Delegates has occupied much of the conversations around Virginia, where I live.  The Democratic nominee was exposed recently by the Washington Post in streaming sex acts on a site called Chaturbate for money. The tips, she reportedly pledged, would go to a “good cause.” Leading Democrats have rallied around Gibson as had the group Emily’s List. I had little interest in the story until Gibson, 40, alleged that the disclosure of her online solicitations is an actual “sex crime” and a violation of her privacy.

According to the Post, Gibson posted more than a dozen videos in September 2022, after she had officially entered the race in suburban Richmond. Virginia State Sen. L. Louise Lucas and other Democrats have defended Gibson of being the target of a hit job by Gov. Glenn Youngkin and the Republicans. However, it was the Post that ran the story.

Other Democrats are silent. Sen. Tim Kaine had just appeared with Gibson at an event but insisted “I really do not know her that well.

However, what caught my eye was Gibson’s statement that the exposure of her alleged online solicitations constitutes a “sex crime” and “an illegal invasion of my privacy” by Republicans.

The Privacy Claim

Let’s start with the privacy claim. The Post revealed that Gibson has been offering to perform sex acts with her husband for “tips” online. This reportedly included more than a dozen videos in September 2022, after she had officially entered the race in suburban Richmond for the House of Delegates in the 57th district.

There are a couple torts that could be raised but neither would be compelling in this circumstance. There is the tort of public disclosure of embarrassing private facts:

652D Publicity Given to Private Life
One who gives publicity to a matter concerning the private life of another is subject to liability to the other for invasion of his privacy, if the matter publicized is of a kind that (a) would be highly offensive to a reasonable person, and (b) is not of legitimate concern to the public.

However, this was not a private fact. To the contrary, Gibson was allegedly seeking a public audience to exchange performative sex acts for money.

The second tort is the inclusion upon seclusion. Under the Second Restatement, citizens may sue for violations of the intrusion upon seclusion:

652B Intrusion Upon Seclusion
One who intentionally intrudes, physically or otherwise, upon the solitude or seclusion of another or his private affairs or concerns, is subject to liability to the other for invasion of his privacy, if the intrusion would be highly offensive to a reasonable person.

However, this is not an deprivation of “seclusion” when Gibson is seeking public exposure.

Indeed, the site shows a long-standing anomaly in our criminal law. It would be illegal for Gibson to offer sex for money on the street under our prostitution laws. Yet, it is not illegal to seek money to have sex on film or on live chat rooms.

The Criminal Allegation

Daniel P. Watkins, a lawyer for Gibson, supported her claim of a criminal violation, citing the state’s revenge porn law. As shown below, the law makes it a Class 1 misdemeanor to “maliciously” distribute nude or sexual images of another person with “intent to coerce, harass, or intimidate.” This case does not suggest malicious dissemination or the sale of any videographic or still image. These images were made public by Gibson and these critics are largely describing the pictures rather than disseminating the image. The site is not even password protected for access to Gibson’s images.

She and her husband had almost 6000 followers.

Indeed, even the service provider itself is protected under the law.

The use of the law to target the Washington Post or political critics would clearly run afoul of the First Amendment.

Watkins cited Ronnie Lee Johnson v. Commonwealth of Virginia as the basis for Gibson’s claim that she is the victim of a sex crime. It is true that the case involved a consensual sexual encounter that was later made public. However, it was a secret recording and the women did not consent to the distribution to others.

I could not find any claim by Gibson that her husband secretly recorded these encounters or that she was not aware of (or knowingly participated) in the publication of the sexual acts. Indeed, the Post reported that

“In multiple videos, Gibson interrupts sex acts to type into a bedside computer. Speaking directly into the screen, she urges viewers to provide tips, which are paid through “tokens” purchased through the site. In at least two videos, she agrees to perform certain acts only in a “private room,” an arrangement that requires the viewer to pay more.”

Watkins pointed to a 2021 Virginia Court of Appeals ruling that found it was unlawful for a man to secretly record his girlfriend during a consensual sexual encounter even if he did not show the video to others.

I am far more concerned about Gibson’s view of criminal and constitutional law than I am her alleged online fetish. I am also concerned that Gibson has assumed the status of a victim of a sex crime on this basis. Actual victims need both judicial and legislative support.

Those concerns are relevant to Gibson as a legislator. As many on this blog know, I have long defended the right of people to have controversial speech and associations in their private lives. Engaging in online porn is a lawful act for Gibson. The political repercussions of such a fetish rests with the voters of the 57th District.

However, the matter will be resolved in the political not the legal system.

N.B.: This column was updated to remove a reference to an endorsement by Sen. Kaine. While an endorsement has been referenced in some of the Gibson coverage, it does not appear that such an endorsement was ever requested by Gibson or extended by Kaine.

140 thoughts on “Susanna Gibson Alleges that Critics Committed a “Sex Crime” In Exposing Her Alleged Streaming of Sex Acts”

  1. Yet, it is not illegal to seek money to have sex on film or on live chat rooms.

    I don’t think JT thought this one through. The Virginia criminal code states:

    Any person who, for money or its equivalent, (i) . . . engages in sexual intercourse . . . or (ii) offers to . . . engage in sexual intercourse . . . is guilty of prostitution, which is punishable as a Class 1 misdemeanor.

    The key here is that the tokens she was seeking are money “equivalents.” So it’s pretty clear the DA will have a solid case against her if they choose to prosecute. I provided a link below discussing this topic.

    1. The other key is that the prohibition on engaging in sexual intercourse for money equivalents (or offering to) is not limited to intercourse with the payer. It is just as illegal to have intercourse with a third party in exchange for money or money equivalents. That again is a topic discussed in the link I provided below.

      1. Thanks for the Virginia statute information Oldman and I hope JT and his blog team can find a reasonable way to consider and address additional information like this.

  2. Poor judgment, that is what Democrats support. That, however, isn’t the worst thing. In the case of Biden, Democrats support additional poor judgment, corruption, immorality, child abuse, and a slew of other things. When it comes to policy, they fail even worse.

  3. “ It would be illegal for Gibson to offer sex for money on the street under our prostitution laws. Yet, it is not illegal to seek money to have sex on film or on live chat rooms.”.

    I am not sure that I agree. The reach of most prostitution statutes is quite broad. Most do not have exceptions for doing the same, otherwise illegal acts, while being filmed. If the candidate committed sexual acts with her husband for money, I think that my have violated Virginia’s prostitution laws regardless of whether they were being recorded or not.

  4. Her campaign strategy should be: I believe in family values. I was doing it with my husband. Any conservative who objects is therefore a hypocrite.

  5. She and her lawyer know it’s not a sex crime. They are putting into practice the saying, the beset defense is a good offense. If they can get the opposition spending its time and energy explaining why it’s not a sex crime, the opposition has less time to discuss how this detracts from her electability.

    Indeed, the site shows a long-standing anomaly in our criminal law. It would be illegal for Gibson to offer sex for money on the street under our prostitution laws. Yet, it is not illegal to seek money to have sex on film or on live chat rooms.

    In fact it does appear that she violated Virginia’s anti-prostitution offense. Even seasoned defense lawyers admit this. The explanation is here:

  6. It is now being reported the Associated Press had the story, tipped Gibson off a week before the WaPo ran the story so she could delete the videos.

  7. Gibson’s resort to The V Word is not suprising. Network and cable TV have long been full of shows, dramatic or documentary, with female victim plotlines, especially attractive White women and girls, ideally blond and blue-eyed. The true-crime shows scrounge up cases from decades ago. One of the dramatic shows has been on since 1999; it’s telling that such a repetitive plot line has such longevity. “Victim,” like “survivor,” is an overused, oft misused, but effective catchword; “privacy” takes a usage beating too.

    On the purely political front, imagine if a Republican candidate, male female, were on that site.

  8. The root question is whether the people of the 57th District wish to have a self-described sl*t representing them. Should she somehow win (and I don’t think she is likely to at this point), the act will speak volumes about the vanishing morality of the American people.

  9. I have the popcorn popping, eagerly awaiting Dennis’ twist on this, and Dick Heads response. We all know he will defend her, because she’s a D.

    1. They’ll go after Lauren Boebert, but for the record, Lauren kept her clothes on and she wasn’t selling anything. Democrats always push a false equivalency.

      1. Diogenes, I do not equate Boebert’s actions and what this VA nut job did, but Boebert needs to go too. We don’t need juvenile little girls making Republicans look bad when we need to keep the House next year.

  10. Does not matter what party she is running with, the total lack in judgement is face palm worthy.
    And then trying to blame someone else for it?

  11. Just another tool who got caught in the continuing Democratic PsyOp against the people, run by her handlers in the CIA. Gibson is an advertisement for all sane persons to vote Republican.

  12. Some of the articles covering this ‘event’ claimed Gibson violated the Chaturbate site’s policy about ‘not requesting tips’. If that claim is true, one wonders if the site is concerned about the implications of ‘hosting sex acts in exchange for money’. That is to say, such actions might be viewed as prostitution.

    If prostitution is a consideration in this matter, could it not be considered a crime for the involved parties to threaten those exposing the alleged crime with other criminal violations that, at best, would seem to not apply to this situation?

    Perhaps we should ask Gibson’s (Virginia State Sen. L. Louise Lucas, former VA governor Ralph Northam, Rep. Abigail Spanberger, Richmond mayor Levar Stoney, VA Senator Lamont Bagby
    Lamont Bagby) supporters if they feel threatening those that expose potentially criminal activity is appropriate for a public official (or wannabe)?

  13. “Sure, I publicly prostituted my husband’s and my most intimate life to voyeurs to fund my run for office. But letting people know about it? That’s a sex crime! You’re raping me! I’m a VIIIIICTIIIIIMMM!!!”

  14. I’d be most concerned about Gibson’s lack of judgement as demonstrated by making public sex videos after starting an election campaign. What dumb mistakes would she make as a Delegate if elected?

    1. She would fit right in with the Democrat party representatives in the VA legislature. For example, look up VA Sen. Joe Morrissey’s colorful history.

    1. The actions might suggest level 2 (lust), but I think four (greed) is more appropriate

      “Here, too, I saw a nation of lost souls,
      far more than were above: they strained their chests
      against enormous weights, and with mad howls
      rolled them at one another. Then in haste
      they rolled them back, one party shouting out:
      “Why do you hoard?” and the other: “Why do you waste?”[52]

    2. Ring Nine: women’s lingerie, sex toys, treachery, tyranny, and corruption. Be careful as you step out of the elevator.

      Thank you for the laugh, Guy 😉

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Res ipsa loquitur – The thing itself speaks