SB 1135

84(R) - 2015
Senate Criminal Justice
Senate Criminal Justice

Vote Recommendation

  • Neutral
  • Neutral
  • Neutral
  • Positive
  • Positive


Sylvia Garcia


Konni Burton
Donna Campbell
Joan Huffman
Lois Kolkhorst
Jane Nelson
José Rodríguez
Judith Zaffirini

Bill Caption

Relating to civil and criminal liability for the unlawful disclosure or promotion of certain intimate visual material; creating an offense.

Fiscal Notes

No significant fiscal implication to the State or local units of government is anticipated.

Bill Analysis

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.”

Vote Recommendation Notes

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

We support this bill for preserving the individual liberty of victims of this offense in a way that is consistent with limited government. We encourage the passage of SB 1135.

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. 

Organizations Supporting

Houston Police Department
Texas Catholic Conference of Bishops
The Texas Council on Family Violence