Maryland Lawmakers Reviewing "Revenge Porn" Bills - 47 ABC - Delmarva's Choice

Maryland Lawmakers Reviewing "Revenge Porn" Bills

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MARYLAND - Lawmakers in Maryland are comparing two bills that would make it a crime to take revenge on an ex-lover. The bills were introduced in a house committee Tuesday.

"It's nothing really new, but it's kind of grimy," Ashlee Hill said.

"Once it's out there, it's out there," Taylor Applegarth said.

"It's disgusting and pretty demoralizing for the girls that are exposed," Eric Moss said.

"Revenge porn" is gaining momentum on web sites devoted to defaming an ex-lover. It's a practice in which nude photos or videos are posted online without the person's consent.

"I have a couple of friends who have had their names tarnished because of the whole situation," Hill said.

Now there's new legislation in the works in Maryland that could help victims.

"No person deserves to have their life destroyed, their job prospects ruined, or have their friends and their family alienate them," Delegate Jon Cardin said.

Delegate Cardin and Delegate Luiz Simmons have introduced two separate bills to a house committee in hopes of criminalizing cyber sexual harassment. Simmon's bill would make revenge porn a misdemeanor with a one-year jail term and a $500 fine. Cardin's bill would make it a felony, with a five-year maximum jail term and a $25,000 fine.

"Just 500 dollars ain't nothing, because they could just keep doing it, and doing it and doing it," Hill said.

"I think a felony is a little too harsh," Moss said.

"If the committee determines that the penalty is too severe in my bill, I can live with that. Delegate Simmons and I are working well together to try to figure out a way to reconcile the two bills and try to come up with a policy that is both constitutional and is meaningful to the victims. I am more concerned about setting an example and getting a bill out of the committee and into the full house for a vote," Delegate Cardin said.

It's legislation that could give thousands of victims some peace of mind.

New Jersey criminalized the practice back in 2004. California did so in October, and other states are considering similar bills.

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