Washington Legislators Aim to Make 'Revenge Porn' a Felony
SEATTLE — Washington legislators have introduced not one — but two — house bills that would make posting so-called ‘revenge porn’ pics a felony.
Seattle Times reported that Rep. Vincent Buys and Rep. Jeff Morris (Republican and Democrat, respectively), introduced bills yesterday that would criminalize the act of sharing sexually explicit photos or videos to humiliate a former partner, friend or unknown.
The two proposed house bills, 2250 and 2257, would deem the crime a Class C felony, punishable by up to five years in prison and/or up to $10,000 in fines.
The caveat is that the pictures and/or videos must be distributed by the offender with the intent to “cause serious emotional distress, and that the depicted person suffers emotional distress.”
The bills have both been referred to Washington’s House Public Safety Committee and Morris said he expects a hearing for his bill as early as next week.
Sans revenge porn law, the state still managed to nab David Blackmer, a 17-year veteran of the Seattle Police Department, for posting explicit photos and video of an ex-lover after she reportedly severed their liason. He was sentenced to 90 days in jail for cyberstalking, which is classified as a gross misdemeanor.
Should Washington successfully outlaw the relatively new form of cyber harassment, it will join alongside trailblazers California and New Jersey. A handful of states, including New York, Pennsylvania, Virginia, Rhode Island and Maryland, are drafting similar legislation.