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Sunday, February 23, 2014

HB326: Revenge Porn Patroned by Delegate Rob Bell. Today the Proposal is a Misdemeanor, But in 2015 or 2016, Will it Become a Felony and a Lifetime on the Virginia Public Sex Offender Registry? That’s My Prediction.

 
Update: 

Attorney: Va. 'revenge porn' bill makes bad manners a crime, March 1, 2014

 
Original Post:

HB326- Unlawful dissemination or sale of images of another. A.K.A. - Revenge Porn will be heard by the Senate Courts of Justice Committee tomorrow Monday February 24, 2014. 

Revenge Porn is images or videos usually taken by or distributed by the person in the image(s) in a sexual situation, partially nude or fully nude. But it can also be hacked or stolen. Then it is posted on-line or distributed to others through email or text without the permission of the person depicted. 

My opinion on this issue:
1.      If the images are hacked or stolen a crime has occurred and some sort of charges should be applied.
2.     If the images were taken without the person in the image knowing about it then a crime has occurred.
3.     If someone is extorting money from the person in the image, then a crime has occurred.
4.     If personal information of the person in the image like full name, address, phone numbers, email addresses, place of employment or school are posted with the photos to create situations of sexual propositions, harassment and stalking, then a crime has occurred.
5.     Websites that specialize in revenge porn soliciting men to take and send in images specifically to humiliate those pictured in the image should be made illegal and shutdown by the government.
6.     If the images were distributed by the person pictured in them and they wind up posted on Twitter, Facebook, SnapChat, etc or in other peoples in-boxes the person in the image needs to take responsibility for sending the images out into the world.
      
    Once someone has shared an image with another person it is no longer theirs to manage. They can not control where the image winds up or who has possession of it. Not days, weeks, months, years or decades later. As the taker/sender it is now out in the universe and wherever it turns up is a gamble. But instead regret sets in they taker/sender of a sexual image  needs to take responsibility for their own actions and that includes dealing with regret and the inevitable repercussions. But criminal or civil charges against other people is not a solution to a mistake they made, they need to own the consequences of their actions.

HB326 starts off with wording like intent to coerce, harass, or intimidate which I agree with. But then HB326’s verbiage goes on to use maliciously disseminates, so in other words posts or shares without the permission of the person in the image. 

While I am not opposing HB326 or a version (HB49) that was rolled into it, I do have great concerns with it. 
 

As I mentioned above anyone who shares an image or video with anyone else has then lost the right to control/determine where the image goes from there but that’s not my biggest concern. 

This year the proposal is a misdemeanor. How long before they propose to increase it to a felony? 

Current Virginia statute for unlawful filming is § 18.2-386.1. . HB326 would add a new section numbered 18.2-386.2 for disseminating.  

§ 18.2-386.2. Unlawful dissemination or sale of images of another.  

A. Any person who, with the intent to coerce, harass, or intimidate, maliciously disseminates or sells any videotape, photograph, film, or other videographic or still image created by any means, or any reproduction of such videotape, photograph, film, or image, that depicts another person who is totally nude, in a state of undress so as to expose the genitals, pubic area, buttocks, or female breast, or engaged in sexual conduct, as defined in § 18.2-390, where such person knows or has reason to know that he is not licensed or authorized to disseminate or sell such videotape, photograph, film, or image is guilty of a Class 1 misdemeanor. 

B. A person who violates subsection A where the depicted person is under the age of 18 is guilty of a Class 6 felony. 

C. The provisions of this section shall not preclude prosecution under any other statute. 

2. That the provisions of this act may result in a net increase in periods of imprisonment or commitment. Pursuant to § 30-19.1:4, the estimated amount of the necessary appropriation cannot be determined for periods of imprisonment in state adult correctional facilities; therefore, Chapter 806 of the Acts of Assembly of 2013 requires the Virginia Criminal Sentencing Commission to assign a minimum fiscal impact of $50,000. Pursuant to § 30-19.1:4, the estimated amount of the necessary appropriation cannot be determined for periods of commitment to the custody of the Department of Juvenile Justice. 

Or how long before the Virginia Legislature makes it a lifelong registrable (Virginia Sex Offender Registry) offense § 9.1-902. ? 

Just like they've done with solicitation of a prostitute who is a minor, which I did not oppose. In 2013 with HB1606 and SB1015 they made it a felony. And this year 2014’s HB235 and SB454 propose to make it a registerable offense, for life.  

History has shown when it comes to sex crimes in Virginia they don't keep the misdemeanors for very long and once a felony they add the life long label and requirement of public Sex Offender. The end goal is ALWAYS to add more Virginians to the public list of shame with lifelong monitoring. 

Expansion and over-inclusion by our Legislature until everyone is listed and considered the same does NOT protect society. 

It just adds to the already over-bloated list that the public can no longer decipher who is a true threat and who has just been swept up in the never ending cycle of Legislative Predator Hysteria. 

Mary Devoy 


Articles on Virginia’s Proposal and other Revenge Porn Proposals across the U.S.: 

Editorial: States can address revenge porn with carefully crafted laws, January 20, 2014
http://www.nhregister.com/opinion/20140120/editorial-states-can-address-revenge-porn-with-carefully-crafted-laws
 

Proposed bill would criminalize 'revenge porn', January 14, 2014
http://hamptonroads.com/2014/01/proposed-bill-would-criminalize-revenge-porn
 

House votes to ban ‘revenge porn’, February 12, 2014
Violations could bring up to a year in jail, $2,500 fine
http://www.timesdispatch.com/news/state-regional/virginia-politics/general-assembly/house-votes-to-ban-revenge-porn/article_0799ec29-d84b-5aec-ad05-3fb899659963.html
 

States Look to Ban 'Revenge Porn', December 4, 2013
http://www.christianpost.com/news/states-look-to-ban-revenge-porn-110060/
 

The Women Who Want to Make Revenge Porn Illegal, September 2013
Betrayed and bullied by bitter exes, they're fighting for a national ban on revenge porn.
http://www.cosmopolitan.com/sex-love/advice/revenge-porn-shutting-it-down


Details Emerge in Lunsford Photo Scandal (Virginia), September 25, 2013
Albemarle County Commonwealth's Attorney Denise Lunsford
C.A. Lunsford is the requestor of HB326 and she was the C.A. who spoke in favor of the bill during session