Arizona Capitol

Arizona Lawmakers Look to Criminalize "Revenge Porn"

Arizona is joining a growing number of states where legislators are seeking to criminalize so-called "revenge porn."

"Revenge porn" typically comes about after nude images are shared, in confidence, with lovers. When a relationship turns sour and one decides to share his or her ex-lover's nude images with a larger audience, it's termed "revenge porn."

In some cases, these images have been obtained through computer hacking, rather than through an act of a revenge by a jilted ex-lover.

Either way, a bill proposed by a bipartisan group of Arizona lawmakers would make the sharing of revenge porn a felony.

Specifically, House Bill 2515 would make it illegal to "knowingly disclose, display, distribute, publish, advertise, or offer a photograph, videotape, film or digital recording or other reproduction of another person in a state of nudity or engaged in a sexual act without obtaining the written consent of the depicted person."

One of a few exceptions would be sharing images of a person who voluntarily exposed themselves "in a public or commercial setting."

The bill, submitted by Republican Representative J.D. Mesnard, proposes making revenge-porn sharing a class-five felony -- the second-lowest level of felony in Arizona -- but a class-four felony "if the depicted person is recognizable."

According to the Cyber Civil Rights Initiative, a group behind a national push for such laws, only California and New Jersey have "non-consensual pornography" laws on the books right now.

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Follow Matthew Hendley on Twitter at @MatthewHendley.