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'Revenge Porn' bill clears Assembly

A photo illustration shows the Verizon wireless carrier icon on a mobile phone screen in Encinitas, California June 6, 2013. REUTERS/Mike Bl
A photo illustration shows the Verizon wireless carrier icon on a mobile phone screen in Encinitas, California June 6, 2013. REUTERS/Mike Bl

MADISON (WRN)  Anyone who uploads so-called “revenge porn” to the internet could face criminal charges, under a bill passed by the state Assembly Tuesday.

The proposal would make it a misdemeanor to post sexually explicit photos or videos online without the permission of those depicted. State Representative John Spiros (R-Marshfield), the sponsor of the bill, says it’s a problem that’s becoming more common as technology makes it easier to capture images of other people and upload them online.

The issue has resulted in several high profile cases nationwide where spurned lovers have posted sexual material online to humiliate someone, including situations where victims have committed suicide. Assembly Speaker Robin Vos (R-Rochester) hopes it will discourage people from even considering this type of revenge. Vos says that, while it’s not a good idea to send someone nude pictures of yourself in the first place, people who make that decision should not be made the victim of a crime.

Democrats pushed for an amendment that would have required proof that the person posting the image intended to harm the victim, citing concerns that the bill may not stand up to a court challenge and could actually weaken current laws. That effort was rejected and the bill passed the Assembly on a voice vote.

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