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‘Revenge porn’ bill goes to full House

‘Revenge porn’ bill goes to full House

Bill Stephens

February 11th, 2016

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FRANKFORT—It would be a crime in Kentucky to post “revenge porn”—sexually-explicit photographs or videos of a person that were never intended to be made public—online under a bill that has cleared a House committee.

House Bill 110, sponsored by Reps. Joni Jenkins, D-Shively, and Tom Riner, D-Louisville, would make sharing such images a misdemeanor if they picture an identifiable person and are shared both maliciously and without the person’s consent. Sharing the same images maliciously for profit or gain would be a felony.

The bill passed the House Judiciary Committee today and is on its way to the House for consideration.

Prosecutor Jeffrey Metzmeier who has worked with victims of revenge porn through the Jefferson County Attorney Domestic Violence Intake Center told the committee that many cases involve “the most horrible things you can imagine,” including threats of exposing private erotic images if a person tries to leave a relationship. Criminalizing the practice is necessary, he said.

“There might be other criminal charges that will fit… but if the materials are just simply distributed and that’s all, the current state of the criminal law does not cover that. So there’s a gap in the law that HB 110 would fill, and I think it’s needed,” said Metzmeier.

Rep. Thomas Kerr, R-Taylor Mill, said “consent” may need to be clarified in the bill since the images may have been made consensually, but distributed without consent of the victim.

“I just wonder if we should say “consent” means consent to the distribution of the image, it doesn’t matter if they gave consent to the creation of the image,” said Kerr.

Jenkins said she’d work on a floor amendment to satisfy that point.

“We certainly want the intent to be clear,” she said.

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