England and Wales passes a new “Revenge Porn” law

According to a February 12, 2015 BBC Internet News report entitled, ‘Revenge Porn’ illegal under new law in England and Wales, “The Criminal Justice and Courts Bill, which has a specific amendment dealing with such actions, will receive Royal Assent and become law later.” ” Offenders face up to two years in jail.” That penalty is greater than California’s law 647(j)(4) CPC which was passed back in 2013, but it is very reassuring to see that more and more countries are taking action against this insidious type of behavior. (According to this article Ireland and Scotland are reviewing the problems and may generate their own laws.)

When I lecture concerning the issue of stalking, I am continually warning my attendees: If you get into an intimate relationship; even if you are married, do not have sexually explicit photos or other digital images taken of yourself because they can end up someplace where you do not want them to be. (Of course, after I make the warning, I look out over the audience and see all the smiles, giggles, and wide-eyed expressions telling me that I am already too late my advisement.) When I was first working stalkers they would be found attached to telephone posts or other public places with the name of the victim along with his or her phone number, and other embarrassing comments. Some where sent to the victim’s place of work, or where his or her children when to school. Then there were no laws to protect the victim. One should keep in mind, that even though there may now be legislation in place to go after the perpetrator with the advent of the Internet, once the images are on the net, for the most part they are there forever and have already done damage.

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California’s “Revenge Porn” Law.

In 2013, California’s Governor Brown signed into law an amendment to the 647 penal code sections commonly referred to as disorderly conduct. The below listed section is designed to assist the victims of a jilted lover who publishes intimate, identifiable photos or other images of their previous party with the intent to create serious emotional distress is guilty of a misdemeanor.

California Penal Code Section 647(j)(4)) provides as follows:

“any person who photographs or records

by any means

the image of the intimate body part or parts of another identifiable person,

under circumstances where the parties agree or understand that the image shall remain private,

and the person subsequently distributes the image taken,

with the intent to cause serious emotional distress,

and the depicted person suffers serious emotional distress,

….is guilty of disorderly conduct…”

Stalkers will also utilize this type of behavior to demean their targets. Some use the images to blackmail their victims into having sex or gaining some other advantage. If you go to the site listed below you will see an article about a successful prosecution of a “revenge porn” subject in Los Angeles County. Apparently, there are some litigators that feel this law may be found unconstitutional on the grounds that it violates First Amendment rights. We will watch to see how that all plays out.

http://atty.lacity.org/stellent/groups/electedofficials/@atty_contributor/documents/contributor_web_content/lacityp_029467.pdf

When I lecture concerning the issue of stalking, I am continually warning my attendees: If you get into an intimate relationship; even if you are married, do not have sexually explicit photos or other digital images taken of yourself because they can end up someplace where you do not want them to be. (Of course, after I make the warning, I look out over the audience and see all the smiles, giggles, and wide-eyed expressions telling me that I am already too late my advisement.) When I was first working stalkers they would be found attached to telephone posts or other public places with the name of the victim along with his or her phone number, and other embarrassing comments. Some where sent to the victim’s place of work, or where his or her children when to school. Then there were no laws to protect the victim. One should keep in mind, that even though there may now be legislation in place to go after the perpetrator with the advent of the Internet, once the images are on the net, for the most part they are there forever and have already done damage.

By the way, Arizona also recently passed a “Revenge Porn” law. I am sure more and more states will follow suit due to the fact that it is such a looming problem.