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Rhode Island Senate passes bill targeting revenge porn

PROVIDENCE, R.I. — Rhode Island Senate approved a bill on Tuesday to prohibit intentional dissemination, online posting or selling of sexually explicit images without consent of the person depicted in them.

Introduced by Sen. Erin P. Lynch, D-Warwick, on behalf of Attorney General Peter F. Kilmartin’s office, the bill applies to video and/or images of a person engaged in explicit sexual conduct and those that show a person’s intimate areas.

The bill advanced in the Senate in a 33-to-0 vote and, if next approved in the House of Representatives without amendments, would go to the governor’s desk. “Posting explicit photos of a former partner without that person’s consent is extremely hurtful and embarrassing. Penalties need to be strong to ensure that people think twice before attempting to degrade an individual in this way,” Lynch said in a statement following Senate passage. She said this is a “new kind of virtual assault” that “disproportionately targets women.”

There are several states with some type of law against “revenge porn” and bills have been submitted in at least 27 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

“The latest phenomenon of individuals posting intimate photos and videos on revenge porn sites with the mission to embarrass exes takes the exploitation and degradation of people, especially women, to a new level of depravity,” Kilmartin said. He added that “the images or videos may stay in cyberspace forever, yet victims are left with no recourse to have the images removed or seek justice for themselves. Passage of this legislation will give victims some comfort that the perpetrators will be held accountable.”

A person would be guilty of “unauthorized dissemination of indecent material” when he or she uses a device to “capture, record, or store visual images of another person 18 years of age or older engaged in sexually explicit conduct or of the intimate areas of another person” when that person “would have a reasonable expectation of privacy,” the bill says.

It includes language making allowance for “constitutionally protected activity” that would not fall under the crime.

The maximum possible penalty for someone convicted would be three years in prison, up to a $3,000 fine or both, according to the bill.

R.I. Senate passes bill targeting ‘revenge porn’ – The Providence Journal
Source: http://www.providencejournal.com/breaking-news/content/20140520-r.i.-senate-passes-bill-targeting-revenge-porn.ece
revenge porn – Google News… Read the rest

Rhode Island Revenge Porn Bill Gets New Push

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) — State lawmakers are looking to make it a crime to post explicit photos of ex-spouses or romantic partners as a way of humiliating them.

Lawmakers preparing for the 2014 session of the General Assembly are pitching legislation that would make so-called revenge porn a felony punishable by jail time and a fine.

The term revenge porn refers to sexually explicit photos or video of a person that is posted online without his or her consent, often by an angry ex-partner. One of the lawmakers behind the bill, Sen. Erin Lynch, D-Cranston, said it’s a problem she learned about through her work as a divorce attorney.

Lynch said tough criminal penalties might make someone think twice before posting a damaging photo.

“Someone could be the most important person in your life one day and then six months later there can be so much hatred and venom that something like this happens,” she said. “It could be the most embarrassing thing in your life.”

Lynch said the legislation will be carefully crafted to ensure it doesn’t potentially run afoul of constitutional protections on free speech. Rep. Donald Lally, D-South Kingstown, plans to introduce the bill in the House.

Attorney General Peter Kilmartin’s office first proposed the legislation a few years ago as part of a larger package of bills relating to the Internet. It never received a vote.

Another bill being pushed by Kilmartin would make it a felony for an adult to send sexually explicit material electronically to a minor. Kilmartin spokeswoman Amy Kempe said some people looking to prey sexually on minors will send them explicit images as a way of cultivating a relationship.

Under the proposed law, an adult would have to transmit the photo or video knowing that the recipient is underage. Rep. Peter Martin, D-Newport, and Sen. Frank Lombardi, D-Cranston, plan to introduce the bill.

Kilmartin said the Internet has created new opportunities for predators to victimize children.

“It is imperative that our laws are updated to reflect changing technology — just as we protect children on our streets, we must also ensure their safety online,” he said in a statement.

Rhode Island Revenge Porn Bill Gets New Push – Huffington Post
revenge porn – Google News… Read the rest