Jan Brewer Signs Bill Making "Revenge Porn" a Felony

Categories: News
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Kelvinsong


Governor Jan Brewer has signed a bill that will make it a felony offense to share someone else's nude pictures without his or her permission.

Several other states have considered or passed similar laws recently, but the penalties passed in Arizona's law are tougher than most: If the person in the images is recognizable, the presumptive sentence is 2 1/2 years in prison.

See also:
-Revenge-Porn Bill "Almost Certainly Unconstitutional," UA Law Professor Says

Specifically, the new law will make it:
Unlawful to intentionally disclose, display, distribute, publish, advertise or offer a photograph, videotape, film or digital recording of another person in a state of nudity or engaged in specific sexual activities if the person knows or should have known that the depicted person has not consented to the disclosure.
The law makes some obvious exemptions, like when reporting illegal activity to law enforcement, or during lawful practices of medical treatment, or images involving "voluntary exposure" in public.

The law makes the sharing of so-called "revenge porn" a class-five felony, unless the person in the images is recognizable, which makes the crime a class-four felony (on a scale of one to six, class one coming with the harshest penalties, and class six having the least-harsh).

The "unlawful distribution of private images" can also be considered a domestic-violence crime under the new law, which can include even harsher penalties, more intense release conditions from jail, or implications in custody issues.

This bill ended up being passed overwhelmingly by legislators, despite quite a few early concerns.

A University of Arizona law professor told New Times that the bill as initially proposed was "almost certainly unconstitutional." Although the bill was amended several times, it's really not that much different from its initial form.

The professor, Derek Bambauer, raised the hypothetical situation that someone had an image of Monica Lewinsky and President Bill Clinton engaged in a sex act.

"I publish it in the newspaper," he explained. "Can I be prosecuted? Clearly not -- it's a matter of public concern (the president is having an affair with an intern, a government employee), so the First Amendment blocks the prosecution."

The final form of the law doesn't provide an exemption for such a situation.

Meanwhile, some lawmakers also seemed apprehensive early on. Republican Representative Eddie Farnsworth, the chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, didn't seem to be a fan early on. He argued in that committee that a person who takes nude photos of themselves should know there's a possibility those images would end up online.

"You can't absolve somebody of complete stupidity," Farnsworth said.

Still, at the end of the hearing, the bill passed that committee on a unanimous vote, and passed on a 23-0 vote in the Senate, and a 54-0 vote in the House.

The bill was sponsored by Republican Representative J.D. Mesnard.

Got a tip? Send it to: Matthew Hendley.

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Follow Matthew Hendley at @MatthewHendley.


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42 comments
DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

Typical for the Retarded Desert Racist Wasteland ... enact idiotic laws they KNOW IN ADVANCE are Unconstitutional.



Julie Cameron
Julie Cameron

I think this is good for our community. Well done, governor.

David Carrington
David Carrington

This is going to open a can of worms that the state has to pay prosecutors to figure out!

Tom Zoellner
Tom Zoellner

What about IT businesses that refuse service to revenge porn based on sexual orientation? The East Valley caucus needs to get on this and craft a Revenge Porn Freedom Act.

Christopher John Brillhart
Christopher John Brillhart

I'm glad I don't give a shit about stupid, arbitrary laws like this one. Porn rules the internet. How the hell are you idiots planning on enforcing this?

Amy Nichole
Amy Nichole

Why make a law that is not even going to be followed to begin with? Not only that, but, a felony?! Come on, thats so pointless. If people are going to record or take pictures of themselves naked, and send it to someone via phone/internet, its their own damn fault if it ends up all over the internet. COMMON SENSE.

Rose Mitchem
Rose Mitchem

Basically in this era, once something is on the internet it's forever. It ruins people. I'm glad it's a felony. It's a disgusting thing to do to another person.

Donald Shepard
Donald Shepard

Common sense and a little class goes along way. If someone has neither they deserve what they get. Smh... and the fact that a law maker has to create a law about it shows how little faith we have in our own kind to make correct decisions for themselves.

Eugene A D Foster
Eugene A D Foster

Really f****** rid I cloud does not our elected officials have anything else better to do come on if you're dumb enough to take a video with somebody and not keep possession of it and things go downhill its your fault for taking it with em in the first place

Brian Embree
Brian Embree

Donald Shepard ftw with that foreign object to most people these days: common sense.

Donald Shepard
Donald Shepard

Maybe people should just not have recording of them having sex or naked pics laying around. Then you don't have to worry about your ex posting them to some sleeve ball internet porn site. For fucks sake... that's like rule #2 of being an adult, right after don't pee your pants.

Ed Henderson
Ed Henderson

This is probably one of the only things she has done that I agree with.

Daniel Riley
Daniel Riley

"Revenge porn" is classless, but ... a class 4 felony? What?

Nathan Schneider
Nathan Schneider

Arizona can't even enforce the laws it does have. I would be surprised if this new "revenge porn" law does anything...ever.

Catherine Baker
Catherine Baker

A felony? I'm female, totally down with the rights of my gender, and I don't see it as anything but a civil matter.

Joe Rollins
Joe Rollins

oh good, i'm glad we're focusing on the important things and not all the dying veterans or people starving to death. Keep up the good work with the interweb n00dz.

TommyCollins
TommyCollins topcommenter

Ut oh. Looks like Jaffy could be in serious trouble.

eric.nelson745
eric.nelson745 topcommenter

Passing around pics of the nudest Jan Brewer? Now THAT would be a crime!

shadeaux
shadeaux

Far as I'm concerned, if you're stupid enough to take, or let somebody else take nude or pornographic pictures of you and it winds up on the internet..........Too Damn Bad.


Why should the taxpayers foot the bill to create, and enforce a law to protect dumb asses from their own behavior.

danzigsdaddy
danzigsdaddy topcommenter

@eric.nelson745   now that is just F***ED UP. you just put a visual out there that will seriously make people need severe and intense psychiatric help..................i hope you are proud of yourself.................gotta go, i hear a toilet calling for a meeting with the contents of my stomach now

TaxpayingVoter
TaxpayingVoter

@shadeaux  Of course, many of those "stupid" people are just kids who lack mature judgment.


Should they pay for the rest of their lives, too?


Not saying I'm for or against.  I just don't accept blanket generalizations.

james8394
james8394

@shadeaux  Because, it's easier than actually creating meaningful legislation that would improve the lives of the citizens.

Peau
Peau

@shadeaux  Politicians don't want their own nudes on the internet. They should name this the Paul Babeu Memorial Revenge Porn Act

valleynative
valleynative topcommenter

@TaxpayingVoter @shadeaux 

If they weren't old enough to be held responsible for their actions, then it was already a felony to possess, let alone distribute, naked images of them.

danzigsdaddy
danzigsdaddy topcommenter

@TaxpayingVoter granted there are real victims, but i am willing to bet the majority of the people who fall prey to this stuff never even gave it any thought. their stupidity is what makes the plight of the real victims get overlooked or doubted. living care free and careless comes back to bite you in the ass fast

danzigsdaddy
danzigsdaddy topcommenter

@Eleanor_Holguin  and thats why they are now introducing laws to protect people stupid enough to do stuff like that. the next law they are going to introduce is one to protect you from your gay lover if he comes out and reveals you threatened him when you break up

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