The Senate has voted to strengthen penalties against those who sell intimate images or videos without the subject’s knowledge or consent. Sen. Kim David, R-Porter, said Senate Bill 1462 will protect victims from continual embarrassment and other negative impacts from the public sharing of such private pictures and videos.
“Surprisingly, this deplorable behavior is fairly common where ex-spouses or lovers sell private videos to multiple adult websites for money. What was done with an expectation of privacy, turns into a horrifying experience for victims that is not only embarrassing but can cost them their job or negatively impact other aspects of their lives,” David said. “The current misdemeanor doesn’t seem to deter these predators so hopefully making this a felony and then requiring repeat offenders to register as sex offenders will stop them. No one should benefit financially from the pain and embarrassment of others.”
The bill was requested by a constituent whose ex-spouse sold private videos of the couple to more than 150 adult websites. Being a member of the military, the videos were considered conduct unbecoming an officer and nearly led to the individual losing her job. She was forced to bring in numerous character witnesses to fight on her behalf to keep her job. The ex-spouse has had numerous misdemeanor charges brought against him but continues selling the videos.
SB 1462 creates a felony for individuals attempting to gain financial advantage or gain anything of value as a result of the nonconsensual dissemination of private sexual images. Offenders will face up to four years in prison and up to 10 years imprisonment for second and subsequent convictions. Second convictions will also require registration as a sex offender. The bill removes the state’s discretion to file a misdemeanor charge on anyone who commits the offense. Provisions of the Sex Offenders Registration Act will apply to repeat offenders but will not apply to anyone while incarcerated in a medium or maximum security prison.
The bill now goes to the House for further consideration.
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