Hasenbeck Interim Study on Revenge Porn Convictions Approved
An interim study by Rep. Toni Hasenbeck, R-Elgin, to examine convictions and sentencing for distribution of non-consensual pornography has been approved. Known as "revenge porn," the nonconsensual distribution of pornography with the intent to harass or humiliate the subject became a misdemeanor in 2016 under Senate Bill 1257. "Cameras and cell phones are so common today that many photos or videos, including those that are intimate in nature, are taken without the subject's knowledge or consent," Hasenbeck said. "Even when the media was captured with consent, the subject may not have given permission to post it online or otherwise share it. But once it hits the Internet, it is nearly impossible for law enforcement or the victim to track down every single place on the Internet that this photo or video landed. "The knowledge that this media is out there haunts these victims day in and day out," Hasenbeck continued. "It destroys their lives, causes severe anxiety and depression and leaves these innocent victims feeling completely helpless." Currently, the crime is punishable by up to one year in the county jail, a fine of up to $1,000 or both. Additionally, the court may order the defendant to remove the image if the court finds it is in the power of the defendant to do so. Subsequent offenses are considered a felony with at least one year of imprisonment and a fine of up to $25,000. Hasenbeck's study, IS23-087, has been assigned to the House Judiciary – Criminal Committee. Interim studies can begin Aug. 7 and must conclude by Nov. 16.