Maryland Legislature Seeks to Make 'Revenge Porn' a Felony

BALTIMORE — State Delegate Jon Cardin is proposing a bill tomorrow that would make posting “revenge porn” a felony in Maryland.

Cardin, a Democrat who is running for attorney general, has authored a bill that makes it illegal to “intentionally disclose in a public way, using the Internet or otherwise, a sexually explicit image of another person without their consent to release that image.” And as a deterrent: offenders would face up to five years in prison and a $25,000 fine.

According to a news release, Cardin, Danielle Keats Citron, a University of Maryland Carey law professor, and victim advocate Annmarie Chirarini will speak about the bill during a press conference tomorrow morning at the University of Maryland Francis King Carey School of Law in Baltimore.

If the bill is approved, Maryland would join a handful of states that have criminalized the new form of Internet harassment, which has grown in popularity over the years. Often times, perpetrators are spurned lovers who post compromising photos of their exes as a means of revenge.

New Jersey acted as trailblazer for the campaign against revenge porn, making it a felony in 2004. Califiornia followed suit earlier this month when Gov. Jerry Brown approved a bill that designated it as misdemeanor offense. New York and Pennsylvania law makers have announced that they are drafting similar legislation for their respective states.     

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