Judge grants delay in Island Lake ‘revenge porn’ trial

Extra time requested so woman’s attorney can research new allegation

A judge on Wednesday postponed an Island Lake’s woman’s “revenge porn” trial, allowing the woman’s attorney more time to research a new allegation.

Bethany Austin, 43, previously was set to go to trial Wednesday afternoon, following an Illinois Supreme Court ruling that the nonconsensual sharing of private, sexual images isn’t protected by free speech.

Austin was charged in 2016 with nonconsensual dissemination of a sexual image – a felony punishable by as many as three years in prison. On Friday, Austin’s attorney Igor Bozic filed a motion seeking to delay the trial. During a recent interview with the state’s attorney’s office, the alleged victim accused Austin of using “spyware” to obtain the photos, court records show.

As a result, the trial date was stricken and the case was continued to March 17 for a status update.

Bozic could not immediately be reached for further comment.

The case dates back to 2016, when Austin discovered another woman’s nude photographs in an iCloud account she shared with her fiancé at the time, her attorney has said.

The couple split, but Austin later learned that her ex-fiancé told family and friends the breakup was mutual. In turn, she distributed a four-page letter accompanied by text message printouts and nude photos of the woman in an attempt to set the record straight, court records show.

Austin was arrested as a result, but McHenry County Judge Joel Berg dismissed that charge in August 2018. The Illinois Supreme Court reversed Berg’s ruling in October 2019, however, and the case returned to McHenry County court.

Katie Smith

Katie has reported on the crime and courts beat for the Northwest Herald since 2017. She began her career with Shaw Media in 2015 at the Daily Chronicle in DeKalb, where she reported on the courts, city council, the local school board, and business.