Governor to sign bill criminalizing 'revenge porn'

Mar 1, 2019

Lawmakers in New York have voted to join 41 other states in criminalizing revenge porn.

The Democrat-controlled Assembly and Senate passed legislation on Thursday that would make it a misdemeanor to disseminate explicit photos of a person without their permission. The measure would also allow victims to file lawsuits against the person responsible for distributing their photos.

"No one, absolutely no one should be having their most intimate moments broadcast across the internet without their consent," said Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie in a post-event press conference. "It is a gross invasion of privacy and impacts every aspect of a victim's life. Some have been subject to threats and sexual assault, stalking and even loss of their job."

Debated for years, the bill had been held up over concerns that internet companies could be held legally responsible for inadvertently allowing revenge porn photos online. The bill was tweaked this year to address that concern.

Supporters say the threat of jail time and big fines is warranted due to the deeply personally and emotionally injurious nature of the offense. Gov. Andrew Cuomo says he plans to sign the bill.