Politics & Government

SC bill could make 'revenge porn' a crime

By Daniel J. Gross

Spartanburg Herald-Journal

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A state lawmaker is hoping a proposed bill will deter angry exes from posting sexually explicit images of their former partners.

The Revenge Porn Act was pre-filed by Sen. Darrell Jackson, D-Richland, in the South Carolina Legislature Tuesday.

He said the bill was introduced toward the end of the last session, but legislators ran out of time to advance the proposal.

Jackson said he read an article last year about revenge porn and it led him to learn more about the problem and eventually draft the bill.

Revenge porn is the act disseminating sexually explicit images or videos of someone without their consent for the purpose of shaming them. The situation typically arises when a relationship ends and one person posts an image of their former partner that was taken while the two were still in a relationship.

“It’s done usually in order to embarrass the party that they ended the relationship with,” Jackson said.

The proposal would make revenge porn a misdemeanor with the penalty of one year in prison and a $1,000 fine upon conviction.

“It’s highly embarrassing and devastating to a lot of people. A lot of the people that are victimized by it are young women,” Jackson said. “This is an issue here. I’ve heard from parents of college students whose daughters were victimized.”

Capt. Regina Nowak of the Spartanburg Police Department said the department has received reports of similar incidents in the past.

"It seems to me that it happens more in high school types of situations," she said. "Someone might call and say, 'I was on a date with a guy and he videotaped us and I'm concerned its going to show up somewhere."