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Arizona Makes Distributing Revenge Porn a Felony

Illustration for article titled Arizona Makes Distributing Revenge Porn a Felony

Following states like California, Arizona lawmakers passed a bill this week that makes it a felony to post sexual photos or videos of a person without their consent.

Signed by Governor Jan Brewer on Wednesday, Arizona's law is notable because it classifies revenge porn as an actual felony, not a misdemeanor. According to the Christian Science Monitor, this makes it one of the most severe revenge porn laws in the country.

Under Arizona's law, the court does not require "proof that the defendant intended to cause emotional distress," which protects victims from former partners who might just want to make money from distributing sexually explicit images. Reuters reports:

Under the law, perpetrators of so-called revenge porn would face a presumptive sentence of 18 months in prison for the crime, which could be increased to 2.5 years if the person shown in the image can be recognized.

The new Arizona law drew rare, widespread support this month from a Republican-dominated state legislature that commonly has divided along party lines. Both the state Senate and the House passed the measure unanimously last week.

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States that have specifically labeled revenge porn laws include the aforementioned Florida, Idaho, Utah, Virginia, Georgia and Wisconsin. Similar regulations exist in Alaska, Texas and New Jersey. Laws have also been considered in New York and Florida and are on the docket in Maryland and Illinois.

Image via Yeko Photo Studio/Shutterstock

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DISCUSSION

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I'd assume that the only reason these laws are getting passed around the country is because the moral majority loves any chance to ban porn. It's great news, of course, but I somehow doubt Jan Brewer's human decency gland just randomly started functioning and caused her to pass this in order to prevent the harassment and exploitation of women.