Today, it was announced that the
New York State Senate passed legislation criminalizing the act of “revenge
porn”. The bill needs to be approved by the New York Assembly in order to become
law, but we suspect that it will.
We have previously written about revenge porn and New York state’s
need for a criminal statute that applies, so we consider this a welcome development, generally. Also, in theory,
victims of this crime will have an implied cause of action in civil court
for damages against the perpetrators,
which we think is of critical importance and ideally would have been explicitly
added to New York state law as a civil cause of action.
However, we have one minor quibble with the bill as it stands. The bill
makes it a class A misdemeanor
to disseminate "sexually intimate images or images of intimate parts
of another person without that person's explicit consent in order
to harm, harass, scare or alarm that individual." (It also makes
it a class E felony for re-offenders). It seems to us that it would be
better and more precise if the charge caused one count of this crime to
issue for each sexually explicit image that were disseminated. Otherwise,
someone might be charged with one count of this crime for disseminating
dozens of images, whereas another person might be charged with the same
crime for disseminating just one image.
In any event, the announcement is great news for victims of revenge porn,
as it indicates that public officials have finally recognized just damaging
revenge porn truly is to the mental and emotional health of victims.
If you or a loved one have been involved in a revenge porn case and need
legal representation, you should strongly consider
contacting the attorneys at Galluzzo & Arnone LLP.