Oklahoma 'Revenge Porn' Bill Sent to Governor for Approval

The Oklahoma legislature has passed a bill that, if signed by Governor Mary Fallin, would criminalize "revenge porn." Senate Bill 1257 passed both the House and the Senate and has been sent to the governor's office for approval. If Gov. Fallin signs the bill into law, it will become effective November 1, 2016.

"Revenge porn" is the term that has been given to the dissemination of nude, semi-nude, or sexually explicit images and videos of a person without that person's consent. According to the bill's author, Sen. David Holt, R-Oklahoma City,

“Non-consensual pornography is a destructive act that especially targets women, and it should be a crime. Our statutes often don’t contemplate modern life, and this is one of those situations. I am grateful that so far my colleagues agree."

The term "revenge porn" became widely known when the federal government began prosecuting individuals like Casey Meyering of Tulsa for running websites that published non-consensual pornography and charged the subjects of the photos--usually women whose pictures were submitted by ex-boyfriends--extortionate fees to have the images removed. Meyering was sentenced to three years in prison for extortion.

Soon after, states began enacting laws that punished not only the extortion from revenge porn site operators, but also the individuals who disseminated the sexually explicit images without the consent of the subject.

Currently, 28 states have revenge porn laws, and if Gov. Fallin signs SB 1257, Oklahoma will join their ranks.

If the bill becomes law, it will be codified in 21 O.S. § 1040.13b and will make revenge porn a misdemeanor. Under this law, criminal nonconsensual dissemination of private sexual images occurs when a person:

1. Intentionally disseminates an image of another person:

a. who is at least eighteen (18) years of age,

b. who is identifiable from the image itself or information displayed in connection with the image, and

c. who is engaged in a sexual act or whose intimate parts are exposed, in whole or in part;

2. Disseminates the image with the intent to harass, intimidate or coerce the person, or under circumstances in which a reasonable person would know or understand that dissemination of the image would harass, intimidate or coerce the person;

3. Obtains the image under circumstances in which a reasonable person would know or understand that the image was to remain private; and

4. Knows or a reasonable person should have known that the person in the image has not consented to the dissemination.

As a misdemeanor, revenge porn will become punishable by a $1,000 fine and up to one year in jail.

Image credit: Pro Juventute

 

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