- Associated Press - Friday, May 8, 2015

CARSON CITY, Nev. (AP) - Nevada lawmakers are reviewing an expansive sex-crime bill that would make “revenge porn” a crime.

The bill would make it a felony post explicit photos on a website with the intent to harass or terrorize the victim. Supporters say 17 other states have passed legislation prohibiting jilted lovers and hackers from posting sexually explicit images online.

Senators reviewed AB 49 on Friday in the Senate Judiciary Committee.

The measure also toughens penalties on sexual crimes against children, including sexual acts with a child committed by a teacher. It creates additional penalties for child abuse and creates stricter penalties in severe injuries, like skull fractures or loss of eyesight are inflicted on a child.

Attorney Jacqueline Bluth with the Clark County District Attorney’s Office said cases with extensive damage to a child should have harsher punishments.

“These children are the most vulnerable victims in society,” she said. “I’m getting one to two of these cases a week.”

Republican Sen. Greg Brower, who chairs the committee, said that defining specific injuries and tying it to a heightened punishment is unusual in Nevada criminal code.

The measure also changes several court proceedings and would allow prosecutors to admit evidence of prior sexual crimes in court cases.

Opponents said the measure would create problems for defending sensitive cases in court and that it proposed overly harsh punishments.

Clark County Deputy Public Defender’s office lobbyist Steve Yeager said some of the provisions of the bill would make it difficult to defend people accused of sexual crimes. “I think it does tilt that analysis in favor of the state, by codifying certain kinds of expert testimony that can be admitted,” he said.

The measure passed out of the Assembly on a 25-17 vote, with Democrats opposing.

The committee took no action on the bill.


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