New Law Proposed to Combat Revenge Porn

The Pennsylvania Senate is presently proposing legislation which would amend the Crimes Code to add a provision to address ‘intimate partner harassment’.  Specifically, the law aims to punish individuals who post intimate pictures and videos of others online without their permission. Proponents of the bill claim that there has been an increase in the past several years of what is referred to as ‘Revenge Porn’- where an ex posts pictures of his/her former partner nude or engaged in sex along with derogatory comments and sometimes even personal identification information, such as home or work addresses, telephone numbers and email address.

Senate Bill 1167 defines the crime as the exposure to a third party of a photograph, film, videotape or similar recording, which depicts an identifiable image of an intimate partner who is either nude or engaged in a sexual act, for no legitimate purpose with the intent to harass, annoy, or alarm the person depicted. It is an affirmative defense if the individual depicted consented to its exposure. If the person depicted is a minor, the crime will be a misdemeanor in the first degree.  For all others, it shall be a misdemeanor in the second degree.