|Posted:||October 3, 2013 11:00 AM|
|From:||Representative Tina M. Davis and Rep. Tarah Toohil|
|To:||All House members|
|Subject:||Co-sponsorship of Legislation: Revenge by Invasion of Privacy|
|In the very near future, Representative Tara Toohil and I plan to introduce companion legislation to a proposal currently being introduced by Senator Schwank in the Senate. The proposal would amend Title 18 (Crimes and Offenses), Section 2709 (Harassment), of the Pennsylvania Consolidated Statutes for the purpose of creating a criminal offense for any individual who publishes any photo or video identifying another person, who is naked or engaging in a sexual act, without the individual’s consent.
Throughout the United States, there has been a growing trend of “revenge by invasion of privacy,” whereby an individual posts sexually explicit photos or videos of an ex-lover, including personal information such as the victim’s name, phone number, address, and in some cases, place of employment. The results of these acts can be devastating to victims, who have lost jobs and even found themselves being stalked by strangers. New Jersey and California have attempted to address this serious issue. In addition, on a federal level, the Communications Decency Act largely protects third-party platforms from liability for user-generated content.
Under current Pennsylvania law, the term “harassment” involves a course of conduct or a pattern of acts. Our legislation will model New Jersey and California’s efforts by creating a new level of harassment for first, second, and subsequent offenses. If the victim is a minor, the offender would be subject to a felony of the third degree. Otherwise, the offender would be subject to a misdemeanor of the second degree.
As legislators, we believe it is our duty to protect and defend victims of sexual exploitation. Please join us in co-sponsoring this important legislation.
Introduced as HB1901