Council to vote on revenge-porn bill
The City Council on Thursday will vote on a proposed “revenge porn” law that would allow the NYPD to arrest people on charges of distributing explicit nonconsensual photography online, The Post has learned.
Violators would be charged with a misdemeanor and face up to a year in prison and a fine of up to $1,000 under the legislation, which was introduced by Councilman Rory Lancman (D-Queens).
“We’re at a place where we’re going to be able to protect women from this disgusting, abusive conduct,” Lancman told The Post on Tuesday. “I expect overwhelming support for it . . . you don’t want to be on the wrong side of a revengeporn vote.”
The Post revealed the devastating effects revenge porn has on its victims in a September exposé about Anon IB, a Web site that has been called the ground zero of revenge porn.
Businesses soon pulled their ads from the site, cutting off a major source of funding.
Lancman’s bill is the first of its kind in the city, although a similar state bill has been collecting dust in Albany for years.
New York is one of only 12 states yet to enact a law that would make sharing explicit photos without consent illegal.
In an April hearing on the bill, Queens District Attorney Richard Brown’s office said he and the other DAs have been “powerless” in bringing perpetrators of revenge porn to justice.
Lancman said, “Imagine how frustrating it is for the sex-crimes unit in the District Attorney’s Office to tell a woman who is a victim of what any reasonable person would describe as a sexually ori- ented crime that there’s nothing they can do for her.
“The district attorneys don’t really have a useful tool at their disposal to hold people who are engaging in this reprehensible conduct accountable for what they’re doing.”
The proposed law is aimed at any person who intends “harm to the victim, either financially, emotionally or physically.”
Lancman said an intent clause was an important addition to the bill because without it, anyone who came into possession of a revenge-porn picture, even if it was unsolicited, could be found guilty, including when a photo gets circulated around a high school or college.
People who threaten to share explicit photos could also be found guilty under the proposed law, Lancman said.
Mayor de Blasio has expressed his support for the bill and is expected to sign it into law if it passes.
Imagine how frustrating it is for the sex-crimes unit in the District Attorney’s Office to tell a woman who is a victim of what any reasonable person would describe as a sexually oriented crime that there’s nothing they can do for her. — City Councilman Rory Lancman (DQueens, left)