- Associated Press - Thursday, April 6, 2017

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) - West Virginia’s lawmakers have voted to criminalize “revenge porn.”

The House of Delegates voted on Thursday to make it a crime to intentionally display publicly, distribute or threaten to disclose sexually explicit or intimate images of someone else without their consent.

It would establish a misdemeanor subject to fines of $1,000 to $5,000 and up to a year in jail. A second offense would be a felony, punishable by up to three years in prison and a fine ranging from $2,500 to $10,000.

The Senate passed the bill 31-0 in February, and Gov. Jim Justice supports criminalizing revenge porn, spokesman Grant Herring said.

The House Judiciary Committee amended the bill to include language on intent so it applies to public posting of those private images intended to harass, intimidate, threaten, humiliate, embarrass, coerce or profit from it.

The bill passed 96-0.

It contains exemptions for telecommunications and internet providers, when there’s prior written consent or people expose themselves in public or commercial settings.

According to the Cyber Civil Rights Initiative, 35 other states and the District of Columbia have laws against revenge porn.

The group said its 2013 survey showed about 90 percent of victims were women, most between 18 and 30 years old, whose nude photos or videos shared with someone else were posted online.

More than half were posted by ex-boyfriends, almost one-fourth by an ex-friend.

Copyright © 2018 The Washington Times, LLC.

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