Pennsylvania ‘Revenge Porn’ Bill Headed To Governor Corbett

Jul 7, 2014
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HARRISBURG, PA — As part of a flurry of last-minute activity, state lawmakers have sent Governor Corbett a bill that would outlaw so-called “revenge porn” in Pennsylvania.

The state capitol in Harrisburg

The state capitol in Harrisburg

Lawmakers have sent Governor Corbett a bill that originated in the House.

But Berks County Democrat Judy Schwank championed similar legislation in the Senate, aimed at punishing those who publish unapproved, explicit images of a partner.

Schwank says “we’ve been able to put these two bills together to retain the strongest features of both. When it becomes law, persons who publicly post sexual images of their partners in order to annoy them or harm them will commit a crime that will have significant consequences.”

That crime would be defined as a second-degree misdemeanor and will carry prison time of up to two years, and a fine of as high as $5,000, when an adult is the victim. If the victim is a minor, the crime becomes a first-degree misdemeanor and the penalties may be increased to up to five years.

A person may be convicted of these crimes if either they, or their victim, live in Pennsylvania. The charge does not apply if the person depicted consented disseminating the image.

Offenders would also be on the hook for financial damages via civil litigation.

Late last month Colorado passed a law that outlawed revenge porn that carries a misdemeanor offense, punishable with a minimum $10,000 fine.

Colorado was the 11th state to make revenge porn a crime, along with Hawaii, Arizona, California, New Jersey, New York, Georgia, Idaho, Utah, Virginia and Wisconsin.

Hawaii, Idaho and Arizona make it a felony for a first violation; the crime is a felony in Georgia and Utah on the second offense.

CBS Philadelphia / Xbiz / RH Reality Check

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