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Efforts are Underway in New York City to Make Revenge Porn a Crime

April 26, 2017, on Sex Crimes |

A New York City federal sex crime defense attorney can defend individuals accused of various types of sexual offenses. There are many different kinds of behaviors that could result in criminal charges and it is important to know what the law allows and what it prohibits so you can avoid inadvertently violating the law and facing serious criminal charges. Knowing the law also means being aware of new regulations that criminalize sexual conduct.

One new law is being considered, for example, that would make revenge porn a crime in New York.  New York Daily News reported on the efforts to criminalize revenge porn, which are supported by the New York Police Department. 

Will Revenge Porn Become Illegal in New York City?

According to New York Daily News, the City Council in New York City recently held a hearing on whether to make revenge porn illegal. Revenge porn is the term that is used to describe spreading naked pictures or sexual images in order to get back at someone.  For example, threatening to post naked pictures of your ex on the Internet or to send those pictures to a person's boss or post them around a neighborhood would all be examples of revenge porn.

It is currently not a crime for a person to share sexual pictures that were given voluntarily, even without the consent of the person who is pictured. While it is illegal to secretly record a sexual encounter, this isn't usually what happens in revenge porn cases.

Instead, typically there was a relationship that resulted in sexual content being voluntarily created or voluntarily shared. For example, a man or a woman might send a girlfriend or boyfriend naked pictures or couples might take naked pictures together.  The person in possession of those pictures of his or her partner would decide to share them without consent, usually after a breakup or a fight.  There is currently no law specifically preventing this.

If the New York City Council's new proposed bill becomes law, though, it will no longer be legal to share sexual pictures without the consent of the person in those pictures, even if the pictures were provided voluntarily.  Disseminating intimate images without consent would be unlawful if the purpose of sharing the pictures was to cause economic harm, physical harm or emotional harm.

The law is carefully crafted to try to ensure it complies with the First Amendment. Pictures given to police upon request, or pictures that are of a journalistic, political, or artistic interest can be shared because there is an exception for these kinds of images.  Outside of the exceptions, unlawful sharing of pictures for nefarious purposes would become a misdemeanor and the potential penalty could include up to a year of jail time.

If this bill passes and you are accused of revenge porn, or if you are accused of any other unlawful behavior in connection with intimate pictures or with any sexual activities, you should contact The Law Office of James E. Tyner, PLLC for help as soon as possible.

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