New Mexico outlaws ‘revenge porn’

ROUNDHOUSE, santa fe, krqe.com

SANTA FE (KRQE) – Governor Susana Martinez has signed a bill into law outlawing “revenge porn.”

Senders of “revenge porn” intend to embarrass or shame an ex or an enemy. Typically, a private, racy or nude photograph or video ends up on the internet for the whole world to see, often after a relationship ends.

New Mexico’s new law makes it illegal to distribute these sensitive messages without that person’s permission especially when the intent is to “harass, humiliate or intimate that person.” It covers technology from cell phones to computers.

Supporters of the legislation argued at the Roundhouse that some victims of “revenge porn” elsewhere in the country even took their own lives.

The bill was introduced by Brian Egolf, a Democratic member of the House of Representatives from Santa Fe.

“I think that if pictures can lead to like suicide or anything tragic to that one person, that someone is getting revenge on, then it will help put a stop to it,” said Mayra Palacios, a college student who said she would support the new law.

“People don’t really need to have their privacy diminished like that,” said Josh, another college student that supports the new law.

While the law goes into detail with its definitions, in essence, the law says private parts and topless pictures of women sent through the internet to cause harm will be covered by the new law.

The Public Defender Department said it’s hard to say how much work this new law will create, but they tell the Legislature, “However, we expect a notable number of persons charged with this crime soon after its inception; perhaps the greatest numbers in children’s court.”

After being found guilty once, “revenge porn” is a misdemeanor in New Mexico. After a second conviction, it becomes a fourth-degree felony.

At least 16 other states have enacted similar laws.

The law goes into effect in New Mexico July 1.

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