The woman responsible for creating Florida’s COVID-19 dashboard has been charged with sexual cyber-harassment and cyberstalking. Rebekah Jones made headlines earlier in the week when she alleged that she was asked to censor data in a bid to gain support for fully re-opening the state.
Ron DeSantis, however, told the press that she was fired for insubordination, which actually does nothing to refute her argument that she was fired because she wouldn’t alter the data to support a political agenda. Now, the state appears to be going after her credibility in other ways. Jones will face criminal charges that she sexually harassed and stalked a former lover who claimed that he was the victim of revenge porn.
The unnamed man accused Jones of posting nude pictures of him online and then sharing them with his place of employment and his family members. The man was awarded an injunction against Jones that has now expired after a year. Jones has pleaded not guilty to misdemeanor stalking charges.
Of course, the only reason we’re hearing about any of this is the fact that Jones made a public claim that the State of Florida was altering COVID-19 data to engineer political goals.
DeSantis mentioned the charges against Jones in a press conference. He stated that Jones was not a scientist and that she was placing data on the portal that her superiors, actual scientists, didn’t authorize. Of course, the allegations are mentioned as a means of discrediting Jones, which they do not, in fact, do.
Whether or not Jones, who does have a Ph.D. in Geography, intentionally misrepresented data or believed that the data was being misrepresented by scientists and altered it, is irrelevant to the charges against her. Similarly, the charges against her are irrelevant to whether or not the data is being misrepresented. However, Jones is being accused of a serious breach of basic morals and Florida law.
The law states that a nude image taken with the consent of the other person implies that the other person has a reasonable expectation that the image will remain private and not for public display. For that reason, when the images are posted without the consent of the person depicted, that is considered misdemeanor cyber sexual harassment, a first-degree misdemeanor. Those charged with this crime can face up to a year in jail. If they are convicted of a subsequent crime of the same nature, the charge becomes a third-degree felony which is punishable by up to five years in state prison.
However, the article is light on details concerning the Jones case and her former ex-boyfriend has not commented either.
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