Press Releases

Del. Jon Cardin to Introduce Bill to Criminalize Nonconsensual

Disclosure of Sexually Explicit Pictures and Videos aka

“Revenge Porn”

Will hold press conference Wed., Oct. 30, at the University of Maryland Francis King Carey School of Law

Released: 10/28/2013 3:00 PM EDT
Source Newsroom: University of Maryland

WHAT: Press conference announcing Maryland’s first law to criminalize “revenge porn” — the nonconsensual disclosure of sexually explicit pictures and videos of ex-significant others via the Internet. Only two other states have similar laws. UM Carey Law Professor Danielle Keats Citron, an expert in Internet privacy, and Victim Advocate Annmarie Chiarini, who was subjected to revenge porn, will speak about how revenge porn raises the risk of offline stalking and physical attacks on its victims. The bill makes it a felony to intentionally disclose in a public way, using the Internet or otherwise, a sexually explicit image of another person without their consent to release that image.

WHEN: October 30, 10:30 am

WHERE: Suite 200, University of Maryland Francis King Carey 
School of Law, 500 W. Baltimore Street, Baltimore, MD 21201

Jon Cardin, Delegate, District 11, Baltimore County
Danielle Keats Citron, professor, UM Carey School of Law, internationally- recognized expert on privacy law who has written extensively about “revenge porn” 
Annmarie Chiarini, Victim Advocate for the Cyber Civil Rights Initiative, a non-profit organization that raises awareness about online harassment

Read the full release here:

http://www.newswise.com/articles/del-jon-cardin-to-introduce-bill-to-criminalize-nonconsensual-disclosure-of-sexually-explicit-pictures-and-videos-aka-revenge-porn

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – FEBRUARY 27, 2014

Contact: Joshua Greenfeld, Legislative Director
Tel: (410)841-3833
E-mail: jon.cardin@house.state.md.us

CYBER SEXUAL HARASSMENT LEGISLATION SPONSORED BY DELS. CARDIN AND SIMMONS PASSES HOUSE OF DELEGATES; HEADS TO SENATE JUDICIAL PROCEEDINGS COMMITTEE

Annapolis, MD – The cyber sexual harassment bill, House Bill 43, sponsored by Delegates Simmons and Cardin passed out of the House of Delegates on Thursday February 27, 2014 by a vote of 130-0. Cyber sexual harassment is often referred to as “revenge porn” in the press and for that reason the title of the bill was amended to reflect this.

Cyber sexual harassment occurs when sexually explicit pictures are posted publicly online without the consent of the pictured individual. Victims of cyber sexual harassment face personal and professional consequences such as mental health issues and loss of reputation and employment.  Those who seek help from law enforcement officers are often told that no crime has been committed and that there is no legal recourse available to them.

Delegate Cardin said, “This law will allow our law enforcement officials to stay one step ahead — to intervene in non-consensual pornography before anyone is forced to carry the emotional scars of sexual harassment for the rest of their life.  It’s a critical step towards protecting our citizens from online bullies and predators.”

The bill makes posting sexually explicit images of another without their consent a misdemeanor punishable by up to 2 years in jail and/or a $5,000 fine. In order to be guilty of this crime, a defendant must intentionally cause their victim serious emotional distress by placing sexually explicit images of them on the internet without their consent – criminal charges can apply regardless of whether the victim or the perpetrator took the images unlike cyber sexual harassment laws in other states that only criminalize pictures taken by the victims also known as “selfies.”

Annmarie Chiarini, a victim advocate with the Cyber Civil Rights Initiative stated, “I am thrilled with the progress that has been made on HB43 and on the issue of criminalizing revenge porn. This law will protect many Marylanders from the ongoing trauma associated with being exposed on the internet. I am optimistic that the Senate Judicial Proceedings Committee will recognize the damage perpetrators of this behavior cause their victims, both personally and professionally.”

Delegate Cardin concluded. “In the 21st century, it is not acceptable to ruin someone’s life and then cower behind the anonymity of the Internet.”

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