Assemblyman Lackey Proposes Stronger Revenge Porn Penalties

offenderSACRAMENTO — Today, Assemblyman Tom Lackey (R-Palmdale) introduced legislation to make the distribution of revenge porn a felony and require anyone convicted of the crime to register as a sex offender. Further, it will make it a misdemeanor to threaten to distribute sexually explicit content with the intent to hurt someone’s reputation.

“Distributing revenge porn is a sex crime. We need to start treating it like one,” said Lackey. “The long-term consequences of this crime are devastating for victims. It’s time for California to send a message that victimizing someone by publishing intimate photos or videos without their consent cannot, and will not, be tolerated.”

AB 2065 will encourage law enforcement, prosecutors and judges to treat these cases with the seriousness they deserve. According to the Wake Forest Law Review (Criminalizing Revenge Porn), prosecuting as misdemeanors pushes judges to waiver before they issue any applicable search warrant.

The bill will make California’s revenge porn penalties among the toughest in the country, making it clear that it is never acceptable to violate a person’s privacy by sharing private images without their permission.  

Under current law, a first-time offender can be charged with a misdemeanor punishable by up to six months in prison, while subsequent offenses are punishable by up to twelve months.