Bill that would criminalize ‘revenge porn’ advances in legislature

March 31, 2014
Law

Online Staff Report

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. — Legislation co-sponsored by State Rep. Joe Sosnowski, R-Belvidere, that would make it illegal to circulate “revenge porn” passed the Illinois House last week 110-2.

Revenge porn is the distribution of sexually explicit videos or photos without a person’s consent and has become a subject of national conversation as more and more people are victimized by it.

Rep. Sosnowski says the purpose of this legislation is to put the appropriate tools in the hands of law enforcement when dealing with revenge porn.

Technology often evolves much faster than our laws, and right now, Illinois lacks the criminal enforcement to address these offenses,” Sosnowski said. “Currently, there are zero ramifications for someone who distributes revenge porn, often a former spouse or partner, without the persons’ knowledge or consent. A victim’s only recourse would be in the form of a civil suit.”

House Bill 4320, also known as the Revenge Porn Bill, would make the action a Class 3 felony and a crime punishable by up to five years in prison with a fine of up to $150,000. If the person involved is a minor or developmentally disabled, the felony punishment would be even more severe: up to 15 years in prison with up to a $250,000 fine.

Lives are overturned when these explicit images are put out for everyone to see,” Sosnowski said. “This is a common-sense bill that goes after those who betray intimacy and trust for revenge.”

House Bill 4320 now moves to the Illinois Senate for further consideration.

Posted March 31, 2014

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