Senator Patrick M. Gallivan (R-C-I, Elma) joined members of the New York State Senate in approving a bill (S.1719C) making it unlawful to disseminate or publish intimate images or video of another person, also known as “revenge porn.” The Senate and the Assembly passed the bill unanimously last week and the governor is expected to sign it into law.
“The disgusting practice of sharing intimate photos through text messages, e-mail and various social media platforms has unfortunately become pervasive,” Senator Gallivan said. “This legislation sends a clear message that such activity will not be tolerated and gives victims of these heinous acts recourse. Prosecutors will now have the tools necessary to hold those who commit such acts responsible.”
The measure outlaws the distribution of sexually explicit images intended to cause harm to the emotional, financial or physical welfare of another person. Such photographs often damage educational and employment opportunities and victims may be threatened with sexual assault, stalked, harassed or fired from jobs.
The legislation includes a private right of action, making it easier for victims to file lawsuits. The private right to action is designed to work in conjunction with the criminal law, giving victims a choice whether to pursue a criminal or civil case, or both.
If signed into law, New York would become the 42nd state in the country to outlaw revenge porn.