Virginia Legislator Goes After 'Revenge Porn'

Jan 14, 2014 12:30 PM PST

ALBEMARLE, Va. — Virginia is angling to jump on the growing national and international trend to criminalize "revenge porn."

To counteract the pernicious phenomenon where people’s explicit photos are unwittingly posted online (often by jilted ex-lovers), Del. Marcus Simon proposed House Bill 49, which seeks to deter would-be offenders with the looming potential of a $2,500 fine and up to one year in prison.    

“We’ve got sort of scorned ex-lovers who then use this as a weapon to hurt and embarrass, and sometimes cause serious financial harm to their former partner, because they don’t like the way the relationship ended,” Marcus said.

He added, “I think they might think twice if they knew they were facing prison time for posting these images.”

Marcus said that some civil libretarians have opposed the bill on the grounds that it might pave the way to further Internet regulation. 

Meanwhile, the bill has found bi-partisan support with a similar measure submitted by Albemarle County Republican Rob Bell.

Most recently Israel joined the anti-revenge porn push by making it a sex crime punishable by five years behind bars, following the heels on similar criminal bans by California and New Jersey.  

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