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Sex

Jail Time for 'Revenge Porn' Photos of Ex-Girlfriends?

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Wed, Jun 5, 2013 at 8:04 AM
click to enlarge AN IMGUR PHOTO LINKED FROM REDDIT'S LOOK AT MY GIRLFRIEND (LAMG) FORUM.
  • An Imgur photo linked from Reddit's Look At My Girlfriend (LAMG) forum.

Only pimply faced virgin-boys actually conspire to post nude photos of girlfriends they don't even have to public forums online. It's called "revenge porn."

Though it does happen from time to time. Anyone who's visited Reddit could tell you that. A proposal in the California legislature would make a crime to post nude images of someone without her consent:

The bill by state Sen. Anthony Cannella passed the Senate Public Safety Committee so unanimously yesterday that all its members have signed on as co-sponsors of the legislation, a spokesman for the lawmaker told us.

Sounds like one of those slam dunk law-and-order bills that no one wants to be seen opposing. Except that he ACLU is against it.

Francisco Lobaco of the ACLU of Northern California told the committee that posting lawful material, even if its offensive, is "constitutionally protected."

A court battle could be in this bill's future.

The language of Cannella's proposed law says that if you post nude photos of someone with the intent to do emotional harm, and without his permission, you could see a year behind bars. Still, it would be a misdemeanor:

click to enlarge AN IMGURE PHOTO LINKED FROM REDDIT.
  • An Imgure photo linked from Reddit.

Every person who, with the intent to cause substantial emotional distress or humiliation, by means of an electronic communication device, and without consent of the other person, electronically distributes, publishes, emails, hyperlinks, or makes available for downloading nude images of the other person along with personal identifying information of the other person, is guilty of a misdemeanor punishable by up to one year in a county jail, by a fine of not more than one thousand dollars ($1,000), or by both that fine and imprisonment.

Cannella says there's currently nothing law enforcement can do for victims of such childishness, although the subjects could always sue.

Here's what he states:

People who post or text pictures that are meant to be private as a way to seek revenge are reprehensible. Right now, there is no tool for law enforcement to protect the victims. Too many have had their lives upended because of an action of another that they trusted. This is a common sense bill that clamps down on those who exploit intimacy and trust for revenge or personal gain.

The bill is marked "urgent" and would go into law immediately if the governor signs it. The next steps for AB 255 include a vote of the full senate, a run through the assembly ringer and then, if it makes it that far, Jerry Brown's desk.

Send feedback and tips to the author. Follow Dennis Romero on Twitter at @dennisjromero. Follow LA Weekly News on Twitter at @laweeklynews.

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