House advances Speedy's 'revenge porn' legislation

House advances Speedy's 'revenge porn' legislation

Posted by: Samantha Holifield  | Wednesday, February 20, 2019 2:54 pm

STATEHOUSE (Feb. 20, 2019) – The House of Representatives voted in support of State Rep. Mike Speedy’s (R-Indianapolis) legislation protecting Hoosiers whose intimate photos are shared without their consent.   

Speedy’s legislation would make it a Class A misdemeanor punishable by up to one year in prison, for those who distribute intimate images of someone without their consent. For repeat offenders, charges would be enhanced to a Level 6 felony, with a maximum two-and-a-half year prison sentence. Under current law, there are no criminal repercussions for distributing these images.       

According to Speedy, these images are often shared between consenting adults, but can be used as blackmail during a relationship or when a relationship ends. He said distributing these images without consent is known as “revenge porn”. 

“Intimate means private but unfortunately, technology has unwittingly become a weapon to hurt people,” Speedy said. “These photos are taken in confidence, and when this trust is broken it can cause irreparable damage to a person’s reputation. Even worse, these photos can be used in domestic abuse situations to coerce, harass, intimidate or threaten the victim.” 

In 2016, the Data and Society Research Institute and the Center for Innovative Public Health Research found 1 in 25 Americans have been a victim of revenge porn. According to Speedy, a Hoosier educator was victimized in 2014 when she left her abusive husband. Without consent, her ex-husband shared images taken throughout their relationship with her co-workers, administrators and parents of students. He said the local community and police wanted help, but their hands were tied by current law.

If Speedy’s bill becomes law, Indiana would join 12 other states with similar “revenge porn” laws.

House Bill 1333 can now be considered by the Senate. Visit iga.in.gov to learn more.

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State Rep. Mike Speedy (R-Indianapolis) represents House District 90,

which includes portions of Marion County.

 

PICTURED: State Rep. Mike Speedy (R-Indianapolis) presents his legislation that would protect Hoosiers whose intimate photos are shared without their consent Tuesday, Feb. 19, 2019, in the House Chamber. Speedy’s bill would provide criminal repercussions for those who distribute these private images with the intent to coerce, harass, intimidate or threaten the person pictured, which is often referred to as “revenge porn.” After receiving unanimous support from the House of Representatives, this legislation can now be considered by the Senate.