City Council votes to make 'revenge porn' a misdemeanor


The distribution of “revenge porn” will soon be outlawed in New York City under a measure approved unanimously by the City Council on Thursday.

The measure makes it a misdemeanor to disseminate explicit photos and videos of a person without their consent. Those found guilty of distributing the images with the intent of causing “economic, physical or substantial emotional harm,” could face up to a year in jail or a $1,000 fine, according to the legislation.

Councilman Rory I. Lancman (D-Queens), who sponsored the bill with Councilman Dan Garodnick (D- Manhattan), said the measure aimed to help victims who had often turned to authorities for help only to find limited legal recourses.

New York is one of 12 states where there are no laws criminalizing the non-consensual distribution of nude images, according to the Cyber Civil Rights Initiative.

“For too long, our laws failed to keep up with our technology, leaving victims of revenge porn unable to seek justice and hold perpetrators accountable,” Lancman said in a statement. “That changes today. Criminalizing revenge porn will ensure New Yorkers are protected and those who take part in this despicable conduct will face serious consequences.”

The measure, which still needs the signature of Mayor Bill de Blasio to be enacted, also allows victims to sue alleged perpetrators in civil court for financial compensation.

“Today we send a message to bullies and domestic abusers that this vile behavior is unacceptable and now criminal — in New York City,” Garodnick said in a statement.

 

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