New Bill Could Make Revenge Porn A Crime In NYC: Gothamist

 


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After years of stalled efforts at the state level, New York City is now pursing its own legislation to criminalize “revenge porn”—the act of sharing explicit photos of a person with the “intention to cause economic, emotional or physical harm.”

Under the new bill, which is expected to get a committee vote in the council next month, sleazy offenders who share “intimate images” without their subject’s consent will face one year in jail and a fine of $1,000. Victims may also pursue civil penalties—including “compensatory and punitive damages”—in the absence of a criminal conviction.

The bill was first introduced by Queens Councilman Rory Lancman last September, and has since gained the support of both Mayor de Blasio and the NYPD.

“It is critically important for the laws in New York City to catch up with our technology to provide protections for New Yorkers from such abuse,” Lancman said in a statement. “Criminalizing revenge porn will ensure perpetrators can be held accountable for their actions, and that victims can receive justice they deserve.”

“These are real victims that we don’t have a tool on the books to actually assist,” NYPD Legislative Affairs Director Oleg Chernyavsky explained during a hearing for the bill earlier this year.

While the city-level legislation is being “primed” for a forthcoming vote in the Public Safety Committee, a similar bill at the state level has languished without a vote for three straight years. “There’s people who blame the victim for taking the pictures or allowing that significant other to take the pictures in the first place,” an anonymous Albany source told the NY Post.

New York is one of just 12 hold-out states that have refused to criminalize revenge porn, though the city’s bill might soon change that, according to Brooklyn attorney Carrie Goldberg, a pioneer in the field of sexual privacy.

“The cost to one’s reputation, finances, safety and overall future as a victim are mind-blowing, and it’s wonderful that our city lawmakers grasp this,” Goldberg told Gothamist.

“Obviously, it’s clear that our local city lawmakers prioritize sexual privacy much more than our state lawmakers—it’s my wish that some day all 20 million New York state residents will get protection.”

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