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House to Vote on Criminal Charges for "Revenge Porn"

Circulating or posting X-rated photos without consent could bring up to 2 1/2 years in prison

(INDIANAPOLIS) - Legislators are trying to crack down on "revenge porn."

 

12 states have made it a crime to distribute X-rated pictures of somebody without their consent. The House could vote next week to make Indiana the 13th. Indianapolis Representative Mike Speedy's bill would make it a misdemeanor carrying up to a year in jail -- if you do it again, it'd be a felony, with a maximum sentence of two-and-a-half years in prison.

 

Fishers music teacher Jennifer Schultz told the House Courts and Criminal Code Committee she walked out of what she says was an abusive marriage in 2014. She says her ex responded by posting embarrassing photos of her online -- and mailing them to parents, administrators, and every male staffer at her school. She says police concluded there was nothing to charge him with.

 

Prosecutors caution even with the law on the books, it could be challenging to prove someone knew the victim didn't want nude photos released. But attorney Brian Burdick predicts the law would lead to a standard provision in divorce settlements, declaring that any photos are not to be shared.

 

South Bend Democrat Ryan Dvorak cast the only no vote in committee. He says there needs to be a law against revenge porn, but says he's concerned the bill as written is too vague, and omits constitutional protections for things like news coverage. Arizona had to redo its law after its first attempt was struck down as unconstitutional.

 

The full House could vote on the bill next week. The Senate is considering a similar bill.

 

(Photo: Eric Berman/WIBC)

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