CBS2-Header-Logo WFAN 1010WINS WCBS tiny WLNYLogo

News

Cuomo Signs Amendment Strengthening Statewide Revenge Porn Ban

Women are shocked and horrified by 'revenge porn,' in which intimate pictures are used without their permission. (Credit: CBS 2)

Women are shocked and horrified by ‘revenge porn,’ in which intimate pictures are used without their permission. (Credit: CBS 2)

TRI-STATE NEWS HEADLINES

From our newsroom to your inbox weekday mornings at 9AM.
Sign Up

ALBANY, N.Y. (CBSNewYork/AP) — New York state Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed an amendment Friday that expanded the definition of “revenge porn” punishable with fines and jail by adding another category of images that can’t be posted online without the subject’s consent.

The amendment will close a loophole in the 2003 law against unlawful surveillance that bars secretly taping or broadcasting images of people undressing or their intimate parts when they reasonably expect privacy.

The loophole prevented a prosecution in Rockland County, where a picture was posted of a woman having sex. The image showed her partner’s intimate parts, not the victim’s, authorities said.

The expanded definition specifically makes that a crime also, punishable by up to a year in jail and $1,000 fine. Two convictions within a decade constitute a felony punishable by up to seven years in prison. The amendment takes effect Nov. 1.

“A person’s right to privacy is paramount,” said Assemblywoman Amy Paulin (D-Scarsdale), who sponsored the bill. “If a person is involved in a private moment or situation, he or she has the right to expect that that moment will remain private and not be broadcast over the Internet or via any other medium.”

Cuomo said nobody should be humiliated by having their image broadcast without their consent, and the measure helps ensure the law is on their side.

As CBS 2 reported back last year, some women have described the experience of having their private photos sent without their knowledge and consent – and put up by someone they once loved.

“I think I stopped breathing for a while,” said Holli Toups, a victim of the revenge porn trend.

Toups found her most intimate photographs posted on a pornographic Web site — put there by a former boyfriend, she said, as an act of revenge.

“It was humiliating, to say the least,” Toups said. “I didn’t want to go anywhere.”

Toups, of Texas, told reporter J.D. Miles of KTVT-TV, Dallas-Fort Worth that she walked into a store one day and was told, “Hey, you’re the girl from that Web site.”

She was among 26 women who sued a Texas-based revenge porn website and its owner.

In Colorado, another young woman – Sarah — also saw her personal pictures, originally taken for her boyfriend, on a revenge porn site.

“I wanted to throw up,” Sarah told KCNC-TV, Denver. “I couldn’t even understand how something like that could become public.”

Another woman, Caitlin, told KCNC she found her private photos on the same site. Caitlin had taken nude photos to share with her girlfriend but did not intend them for public consumption.

“This has nothing to do with free will. Those were my personal photos reserved for me privately and somehow they were taken and now they are all over the Internet for anyone to see. It’s an invasion of privacy and it’s disgusting,” Caitlin told the CBS-owned station.

About two dozen states considered bills this year addressing the trend of posting of intimate pictures or videos of former romantic partners as a form of revenge.

Colorado’s new law made it a misdemeanor to publish explicit images of someone without their consent, carrying a fine of at least $10,000.

Other states that passed revenge porn laws this year were Arizona, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Maryland, Utah, Virginia and Wisconsin, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

(TM and © Copyright 2014 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2014 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)