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Pa. lawmaker seeks to make “revenge porn” a crime

People who have naked or sexually explicit images of them posted online, without their consent, may soon be able to seek justice.

State Senator Judy Schwank, D-11th District, is pushing a bill that would make so-called “revenge porn” a crime.

A Central Pennsylvania victim of “revenge porn,” who we’re calling Nicole to conceal her identity, said she was victimized when she was just 18.

“It’s still in the back of my mind,” she said. “That someone could see that and be like, ‘I know her,’ and then the world just goes crumbling down again.”

She says her ex-boyfriend secretly recorded her performing a sexual act and used the video as blackmail to keep her in the relationship.

“He started threatening me with it. Telling me if you don’t do as I say, I’m going to send it to your dad, I’m going to send it to your mom, I’m going to send it to your friends,” she said.

Nicole said he also threatened to post it online.

“Once it’s on the internet, it’s there. There’s no taking it back,” she said.

But Sen. Schwank’s bill could give victims like Nicole the chance to fight back.

The bill would make the online posting of naked or sexually explicit images of former intimate partners a second degree misdemeanor, or a third degree felony, if the victim is a minor.

“Our bill will make sure that it deters that kind of behavior and we’ll be working to watch this on the federal level, so that the websites that actually host this kind of material can also be eliminated,” Schwank said at a news conference Wednesday.

Nicole says if the law had been in place when she was victimized, she would have definitely gone to the police.

“I would’ve went to them and said, ‘He did this,”‘ she said. “‘I didn’t know, I didn’t give consent for him to do this. Do something.’ Because it makes you feel like less of a person, when someone you give yourself to, does that.”

Currently, California and New Jersey are the only states with a similar law on the books. But Sen. Schwank said several other states, including New York and Delaware are considering their own bills.

VIEW & ADD COMMENTS

3 Comments to “Pa. lawmaker seeks to make “revenge porn” a crime”

    GimmeABreak said:
    December 11, 2013 at 10:29 PM

    I would love to know the range of punishment for a 2nd degree misdemeanor. I ask because take CA for an example. Their prisons are so overcrowded that I would seriously doubt and in fact be shocked if anyone convicted actually did anytime behind bars. And as far as the fine, so what hundreds maybe a few thousand. Some of the guys posting these pics / videos don't have 2 nickels to rub together anyway so good luck trying to get the $$$. Now weigh ALL that I just said against the fact that pics / videos once on the internet will be there forever. Oh sure you can get a particular site to take down the pics / videos but people may have downloaded them. People may re-post on different sites. They may get posted on sites that are run overseas out of the hands of the American justice system.

    What's all that mean. If a man (or woman as the case may be) gets angry enough and wants this revenge bad enough he will do it and then your "business" is out there for all to see and forever. If there is any chance of stopping this the teeth in the law has got to reach felony level (i.e.: serious time behind bars) – which by the way probably will never happen. SO THE BEST DEFENSE IS A GOOD OFFENSE AND DO NOT VOLUNTARILY TAKE THESE PHOTOS AND/OR VIDEOS – PERIOD!!!

    And yes I know the woman in the article was duped by a secret video and that is sad / unfortunate. All I can say is, it is best to know the character of the person you are with.

    MyTakeOnIt said:
    December 11, 2013 at 11:36 PM

    So very complicated and yet the arguments have only just begun. This subject isn't so cut and dry as it might sound to many.

    make life simple said:
    December 12, 2013 at 8:37 AM

    why don't everyone just stick with cyrus,she wins great awards.

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