Nebraska among last states to approve ‘revenge porn’ law

Nebraska has long been one of the few states without a “revenge porn’’ law, but new proposals being considered by lawmakers would end that status and make it easier to file charges against people who post pornographic images of others online without their permission.
    Although prosecutors might have been able to find ways to file charges for posting such images under current law, Nebraska is among seven states that have not directly addressed the issue, according to the Cyber Civil Rights Initiative, a national nonprofit that tracks the issue in state legislatures.
    That could change under either of two bills scheduled for a legislative hearing Wednesday.
    “This happens every day to people,’’ said Sen. Megan Hunt, who introduced one of the bills. “It happens to high schoolers. It happens to college kids. I think you’d be hard-pressed to find anybody under 30 who doesn’t know somebody who has been affected by this.’’
    The bill from Hunt, of Omaha, would bar people from transmitting or posting sexual photographs online without the permission of the person who’s depicted.
    First-time violators could face a misdemeanor charge, while repeat offenders could be charged with a felony. Perpetrators also would have to register as a sex offender if they were 19 or older at the time and the victim was younger than 18 years old.
    Another bill by Sen. Adam Morfeld, of Lincoln, would impose felony charges on anyone who knowingly distributes pornographic footage or photos taken without consent.
    Hunt said the prevalence of text messaging and social media and a lack of education about healthy sexual relationships make younger people especially susceptible. The images can haunt victims for years anytime employers, relatives or romantic partners search for their name online.

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