Martinez’s first bill targets revenge porn

State Sen. Monica Martinez (D-Brentwood) introduced her first bill to the Legislature last week, calling for stricter consequences for sharing intimate images online without a person’s consent, commonly referred to as “revenge porn.”

“Revenge porn is a widespread problem that has caused severe emotional pain to thousands of victims, some of whom have committed suicide,” Martinez said in the announcement on Facebook. “It is time we stand up for the victims of these heinous crimes so that they may seek the justice they deserve.”

The law, introduced along with state Sen. Phil Boyle (R-Bay Shore), would make sharing intimate images a Class A misdemeanor, which could land a violator up to a year in prison. The law would also allow victims to petition the judicial system to have the images removed from the Internet.

Suffolk County passed a similar law in late 2018, when then-Legis. Martinez and Legis. Bill Lindsay III sponsored a bill that received unanimous support.

“I applaud Sen. Martinez for spearheading legislation that will send an unequivocal message of intolerance to abusers who wreak havoc on the lives of unsuspecting victims,” said Laura Ahern, executive director of the Crime Victim’s Center/Parents for Megan’s Law. “One revenge porn posting can ruin a person’s reputation, affect their job and relationships, and subject them to harassment, online stalking and can even place them in danger from those that view it.”

Martinez told the Advance Monday that this bill is very similar to the county version, with the main difference being the implementation into the penal code. She added that it was her promise to bring this to Albany as one of her first acts as senator.

Forty-one states and the District of Columbia have already adopted “revenge porn” laws. The bill, S1719, will head to the Committee on Codes as its first step in deliberation.

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