New York Outlaws “Revenge Porn”

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In an amazing move to support victims of “Revenge Porn” — the sharing or posting of naked or sexually suggestive photos or videos — the State legislature approved a bill outlawing the same.

“As a divorce and family law attorney, I know first hand how difficult these situations can be, and having this additional tool will be tremendous for my clients,” said Morghan Richardson, a partner at Davidoff Hutcher & Citron LLP in Manhattan.

“This bill is a triumph for victims who have been unable to get law-enforcement or the courts to act to provide protection and recourse to have the revenge-porn removed from websites.”

Here is the quick run-down on what you need to know: 

The bill has a very detailed definition of what constitutes a crime and what qualifies as a civil case.

Criminal

According to news reports, a person would generally be subject to criminal charges if they intentionally share an image or video of a person unclothed or in a sexual context without that person’s consent in order to cause harm.

It would be up to prosecutors to prove an intention to cause emotional, financial or physical harm to the victim. They will also have to show that the victim wanted the photo or video kept private and the person who shared it reasonably should have known that.

Civil (lawsuits)

To sue someone in a civil action under the new bill, the victim would need to show that the individual distributed the image or video of them unclothed or in a sexual context without their consent for the purpose of harassing, annoying or alarming them. Victims will be able to sue the person who shared the revenge porn and the website that it was posted on.

Victims will also be allowed to ask for a court order to remove the revenge porn, as long as that is within the website’s control, and to restrain the individual from sharing it again. The statute of limitations is 3 years after the image or video is posted or shared; but if it isn’t discovered during that time, then the victim has 1 year to act after the discovery.

New York is First

Once the signed into law by the governor, New York will be the first state to give victims seeking court-ordered injunctions a specific legal mechanism to have revenge-porn removed from a website, according to the news.

 

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