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Revenge Porn Will (Finally) Be a Criminal Act in Texas, Thanks to a Houston Senator

by Angelica Leicht Posted: 08-26-15 | 2 years ago
revenge porn laws texas

It’s about time this happened. As of September 1, posting revenge porn — i.e. shaming ex-partners with intimate videos, photos or any other material meant to be private — will finally be a prosecutable crime in Texas. We’re not really sure what took so long.

Once the September 1 date rolls around, posting revenge porn — i.e. any private, sexually explicit photos, videos, or material posted on the Internet or social media in order to shame an ex or former lover — will be a class A misdemeanor, and can net you about $4,000 in fines and possibly year in jail. (Good, by the way, because it takes a special kind of asshole to post revenge porn. A special kind of asshole.)

Who does this. Tell us. Who.
Who does this. Tell us. Who.

The bill that got this revenge porn law kickstarted was Senate Bill 1135, and was introduced by State Senator Sylvia Garcia of Houston in March (because she’s awesome). It was signed into law in June.

The law’s wording makes it pretty clear that it’s not just postings on the Internet that are a revenge porn no-no. Anyone who uses social media as a revenge porn platform can also be prosecuted.

“A person commits an offense of unlawful disclosure of intimate images if without the effective consent of the depicted person, the person intentionally discloses visual material depicting another person with the person’s intimate parts exposed or engaged in sexual conduct.”

That means Facebook, Snapchat, Twitter, Instagram, and whatever else you silly kids are socializing with is hands-off for shitty revenge plots like these. And under the law, the person who shares the photos and whoever hosts the website they’re posted on can be prosecuted. Which means that those horrible revenge porn websites where scorned ex-lovers post naked photos to shame their exes can be dragged into court as well.

Also good. Hosting a site like that also takes a special kind of asshole.

It takes a special kind of asshole, yet it happens, time and time again. In fact, in 2013, 18 women, including one from Texas, filed a class-action lawsuit against a revenge porn website where men posted personal images and information about their ex-girlfriends without permission.

The posts included sexually explicit photos of the women, along with links to social media pages and home addresses. The case is still pending, and a judge has ordered that the website be taken down while the case is ongoing.

But filing a class-action lawsuit was about the only option for the women. Prior to the passage of this law, victims were only able to take their claims to civil court, where it can be difficult to justify a financial claim for emotional damages. This law will also make it easier for not only the state, but the victims to seek justice against the people posting revenge porn, too.

Good, good, and good. Because again — say it with me, kids — it takes a special kind of asshole.

 

 

Angelica Leicht

“As a former alt-weekly writer and editor, Angelica has plenty of experience in listicles and fighting the man. She now spends most of her time side-eying and listening to terrible pop music while plotting how to raise a little Texas-bred hell.”

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  1. […] porn will now be against the law. Finally. Our own Angelica Leicht wrote about this one last […]

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