Bill banning revenge porn passes in Virginia

Getting back at an ex-lover by posting his or her private pictures on the Internet will soon be a crime in Virginia, should Gov. Terry McAuliffe (D) sign a bill that passed out of the General Assembly on Friday.

The legislation’s passage “is a huge weight off my shoulders,” said Nicole Coon, a Virginia nursing student who worked with lawmakers on the legislation. A video she sent to a former boyfriend ended up on a Web site that demanded $500 for its removal.

The bill would make it a Class 1 misdemeanor to “maliciously” distribute a nude or sexual photograph of another person with “intent to coerce, harass, or intimidate” without license.

A number of states are considering similar legislation, including Maryland, where the House of Delegates approved the criminalization of “revenge porn” in a 130 to 0 vote on Friday. The Maryland Senate has yet to act.

Rachel Weiner covers cops and courts in Arlington and Alexandria.
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