Criminal penalties for revenge porn may become law

Efforts to hold revenge porn perpetrators criminally accountable advanced Monday after the Indiana House of Representatives voted 95-0 in favor of legislation that would criminalize the posting of nonconsensual pornography. 

Senate Bill 243 defines an intimate image as a photograph, digital image or video that depicts sexual intercourse, other sexual conduct or the exhibition of the uncovered buttocks, genitals or female breast.

Rep. Mike Speedy, R-Indianapolis, said SB 243 makes it a crime for someone to distribute such an image with intent to harm, harass, intimidate, threaten or coerce the other person. It would also make it a crime to post the image without the consent of a person depicted in that image, even if that person initially agreed to partake in the image.

Revenge porn perpetrators could be charged with a Class A misdemeanor. A second or subsequent offense would bump that up to a Level 6 felony charge.

The measure initially received skepticism from Sen. Michael Young, R- Indianapolis, who has traditionally held that such matters are civil, not criminal. But the bill has seen little opposition this session.

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