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‘Revenge porn’ bill moves to Senate

  

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. — The House in the Show-Me State approved a bill that would outlaw so-called “revenge porn.”

Rep. Jim Neely, R-Cameron

Sponsored by Republican Jim Neely, HB 1558 would make it a class D felony for the “non-consensual dissemination of private sexual images.” In plain speak, that means sharing images of someone in a compromising position without that person’s permission. Even threatening to distribute those images would be a class E felony — an amendment added during perfection last week.

Under the legislation, communication networks would not be automatically liable if they unknowingly disseminate those images.

“[The bill] gives prosecutors more teeth,” said Rep. Stacey Newman. She called it an “abuse bill” that fights a problem that disproportionately affects women. To date, 38 states have passed laws outlawing revenge porn.

This is not the first year the legislation was filed in the General Assembly.

“He was pushing this last year, before the #MeToo movement,” Rep. Stacey Newman said. The bill did not make it to the floor last session. This year it moved to the Senate in a 149-1 vote.

The legislation dealing with private images comes at a precarious time in Missouri politics. Two days after the bill was given initial approval, Gov. Eric Greitens was indicted by a grand jury on a felony invasion of privacy charge.

While there was no mention of the governor during debate on Monday, Greitens’ 2015 extramarital affair was alluded to by one Representative during perfection.

“I’d ask everyone to say no to blindfolds and duct tape and support this amendment,” Rep. Brandon Ellington said while debating the amendment last week.