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Activists pushing for harsher penalties for posting revenge porn

Revenge porn is a crime in Texas and it could be considered domestic violence, but some say that the penalties aren’t very harsh.

SAN ANTONIO – Revenge porn is a crime in Texas and it could be considered domestic violence.

“They feel very afraid and terrorized,” said Patricia Castillo, executive director of P.E.A.C.E who works with victims of relationship and family violence and says that she’s seeing many more cases involving threats of revenge porn. “It’s an abusive power. People need to see it that way. It can really destroy someone’s reputation and credibility, so it’s something that must be taken very seriously.”

Criminal defense attorney Steven Gilmore says that revenge porn is a crime, but penalties are not very harsh.

“In Texas, it is a Class A misdemeanor,” he noted. “Posting a photo of sexual conduct is not more serious than your average telephone harassment case.”

Gilmore said that if the case is proven to be domestic violence, the victim can file for a restraining order and that can lead to more consequences for the person posting the picture.

“That will prevent a defendant from owning or possessing a firearm in the future,” he said.

Castillo said that she hopes to see legislation passed with stronger penalties. For now, she encourages victims, who are primarily women, to speak out.

“I think they most definitely need to document with law enforcement,” she said. “They need to press charges.”

© 2017 KENS-TV

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