New York State Expands Punishable 'Revenge Porn'

The Associated Press

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New York state is expanding the definition of "revenge porn" punishable with fines and jail by adding another category of images that can't be posted online without the subject's consent.

The amendment that Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed Friday closes a loophole in the 2003 law against unlawful surveillance that bars secretly taping or broadcasting images of people undressing or their intimate parts when they reasonably expect privacy.

The loophole prevented a prosecution in Rockland County, where a picture was posted of a woman having sex. The image showed her partner's intimate parts, not the victim's, authorities said.

The expanded definition specifically makes that crime also punishable by up to a year in jail and $1,000 fine. Two convictions within a decade constitute a felony punishable by up to seven years in prison.

The amendment takes effect Nov. 1.

"A person's right to privacy is paramount," said Assemblywoman Amy Paulin, a Scarsdale Democrat who sponsored the bill. "If a person is involved in a private moment or situation, he or she has the right to expect that moment will remain private and not be broadcast over the Internet or via any other medium."

Cuomo said nobody should be humiliated by having their image broadcast without their consent, and the measure helps ensure the law is on their side.

Eight other states have passed bills this year addressing the trend of posting intimate pictures or videos of former romantic partners as a form of revenge, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

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