Criminal penalties for ‘revenge porn’ amended, advanced

Lawmakers amended and advanced a bill from select file May 22 that would prohibit the intentional or threatening distribution of intimate images.

<a href='http://news.legislature.ne.gov/dist46' target='_blank' title='Link to the website of Sen. Adam Morfeld'>Sen. Adam Morfeld</a>
Sen. Adam Morfeld

LB630, sponsored by Lincoln Sen. Adam Morfeld, would outlaw nonconsensual distribution of intimate images and video.

A Judiciary Committee amendment adopted on general file replaced the bill. As amended, it would create the offense of distributing a private image of another person’s intimate area or of a person engaged in sexually explicit conduct.

A person who violates this provision would be charged with a Class I misdemeanor for a first offense, punishable by up to one year in prison, a $1,000 fine or both. Second and subsequent offenses would be a Class IV felony, punishable by up to two years in prison with 12 months post-release supervision, a $10,000 fine or both.

The bill also would create the offense of threatening to distribute intimate images with the intent to intimidate, threaten or harass a person. Violation of this provision would be considered a Class I misdemeanor.

LB630 would provide an affirmative defense for juveniles who possess a visual depiction that was knowingly and voluntarily provided by another juvenile who is within four years of age of the defendant.

The committee amendment also incorporated provisions of LB510, originally sponsored by Omaha Sen. John McCollister. Under the provisions, a person required to register as a sex offender in another state as the result of a juvenile adjudication only would be required to register in Nebraska if the crime also requires it under Nebraska law.

Lincoln Sen. Mike Hilgers offered an amendment on select file, adopted 26-14, to remove the provisions of LB510 from the underlying bill. He said the provisions would create a disparate level of treatment depending on where a crime was committed.

Objecting to the amendment was Omaha Sen. Steve Lathrop. He said Nebraska should use its own legal standard when determining registry requirements.

“[This] amendment would make it so that if a kid was on another state’s registry, the kid would go on our registry, even if [the crime committed was] not a crime in Nebraska,” Lathrop said.

Following adoption of an additional technical amendment, senators advanced LB630 to final reading by voice vote.

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