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No significant fiscal implication to the State or local units of government is anticipated.
SB 1135 would create a new liability within the penal code of “unlawful disclosure or promotion of certain intimate visual material.”
This bill would create an injunctive relief allowing a temporary restraining order to restrain and prevent the disclosure or promotion of intimate visual material. This suit could be brought as long as the intimate visual material is available to be viewed within the state, the defendant or claimant resides in the state, or the material is stored or a server located in this state. This bill also creates a new offense categorized as a Class A misdemeanor for “unlawful disclosure or promotion of intimate visual material.”
Although, we typically do not support new offenses being created in the statute, we are aware that as technology progresses, people find new ways to use that technology to commit offenses against others. The provisions of this bill fit within the legitimate role of government by creating a new offense that is based on the growth of so called “revenge porn.”
For those unaware of this trend it mainly concerns events in the aftermath of a breakup when one party of the former relationship posts on the internet illicit pictures or videos of the other person against their wishes in order to embarrass or humiliate them. The Washington Post features an interesting write up about Kevin Bollaert who was finally sentenced in California for encouraging people to post illicit pictures without a subject's consent. Two months after the law came into effect, Bollaert was arrested, tried, and convicted. This week (second week of April 2015) he was handed an 18 year prison sentence
A further point to consider is that the penalty under the California model seems excessive and perhaps out of sync with the crime. The penalty provided under this legislation is much more circumspect and in alignment with the offense. That said, legislators may wish to consider starting the penalty at a lower level and allowing escalations for subsequent convictions.