Texas legislature poised to give ‘revenge porn’ victims opportunity to sue

May 27, 2015
Internet
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The Texas legislature moves to outlaw ‘revenge porn’

AUSTIN—Texans who post so-called revenge porn online could face criminal and civil charges under legislation tentatively approved by the House Tuesday.

Texas legislature poised to give 'revenge porn' victims opportunity to sue

State Senators Sylvia Garcia, Jose Rodriguez, and Kirk Watson listen as Wendy Davis filibusters during the final day of the legislative special session, as the Senate considers an abortion bills on Tuesday, June 25, 2013. (Louis DeLuca/Dallas Morning News)

Both chambers put forth legislation this session that would allow courts to bring charges against Texans who share nude or sexually explicit pictures online in an effort to harm another person, typically an ex-partner. But the Senate version, authored by Sen. Sylvia Garcia, D-Houston, is poised to make it to the governor’s desk.

Under that legislation, revenge porn victims could seek compensation from offenders and charges for revenge porn could result in up to one year in jail or an up to $4,000 fine, or both.  House lawmakers unanimously approved the measure.

“This is a very intimate violation of a person’s privacy and no different than the trauma caused by sexual violence, harassment or abuse,” Garcia said during the Senate debate last month.

Rep. Sarah Davis, R-University Park, authored similar legislation in the House, though her bill carried a stricter state jail felony criminal charge and lacked the civil penalties.

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