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Governor signs legislation outlawing ‘revenge porn’

Posted 23 July 2019 at 10:25 am

Press Release, Gov. Andrew Cuomo

Governor Cuomo today signed into law S.1719C/ A.5981, criminalizing the publication of “revenge porn,” or the non-consensual sharing or publication of an intimate image. This new law subjects abusers to criminal penalties of up to a year in jail, plus civil damages, and empowers victims to seek a court order to remove these images online.

“Our laws have not kept pace with technology and how abusers can use it to harass, intimidate and humiliate intimate partners,” Governor Cuomo said. “By criminalizing the publication of revenge porn, we are empowering victims of this heinous act to take action against their abusers and showing them a path to justice.”

Specifically, this legislation defines “revenge porn” as the criminal act of unlawful dissemination or publication of an intimate image when done with the intent to cause harm to the emotional, financial, or physical welfare of another person and when the image was taken with a reasonable expectation that the image would remain private.

The legislation establishes the act of unlawful dissemination or publication of an intimate image as a Class A misdemeanor. The bill also amends the Civil Rights Law to allow victims of “revenge porn” to seek civil recourse for the damages.

“As part of our Women’s Justice Agenda, we are focused on changing a culture that enables sexism and violence against women,” said Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul. “This legislation ensures New Yorkers are not victims of nonconsensual release of intimate images, empowering them to take action to remove images from the Internet and subject abusers to jail time. This is another important step in our overall goals to achieve true social, economic, racial, and gender justice once and for all.”

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