Delaware May Pass 'Revenge Porn' Law

Mar 14, 2014 3:15 PM PST

DOVER, Del. — Delaware is poised to make "revenge porn" a crime when the state's General Assembly returns next week.

Rep. Andria Bennett, D-Dover, has introduced legislation that would make it a crime to disseminate video or photos of a person who is nude or engaged in sexual acts without his or her consent.

"In today's world of social media and digital communication, it has become very easy to share information with many people in a short amount of time," Bennett said in a statement on Delaware House Democrats' website. "As a result of that, this type of behavior has become more and more common — and more and more hurtful to the victims."

Bennett-sponsored H.B. 260 expands the existing crime of violation of privacy to include revenge porn or "intimate partner harassment." Violators who circulates revenge porn would be guilty of a Class B misdemeanor, which could be increased further to a Class G felony if the material was originally obtained without the victim's consent, distributed for profit, or includes identifying information.

"This isn't like the days where an embarrassing photo is passed around a class of 30. These intimate photos and videos are posted online and shared around the world – sometimes even with the victim's name and personal information included," Bennett said."This is the sort of thing that may have seemed harmless before the days of Facebook and Twitter, but which is now capable of severely harming a victim's quality of life."

Legislatures in Georgia Arizona, Washington, Maryland, New York, Pennsylvania, Virginia, Rhode Island and Maryland have considered implementing similar laws. California and New Jersey already have enacted revenge porn laws.

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