Virginia Law Targets Vengeful Use Of Intimate Images

The Virginia House of Delegates passed a measure that would expand the state’s revenge porn statute to include more types of sexual photos that would be illegal to distribute.

Bill sponsor Delegate Irene Shin said that this legislation will expand upon prior efforts by the General Assembly to prevent the unauthorized disclosure of victims’ private photos and videos.

After failed Democrat candidate Susanna Gibson and her spouse were caught red-handed live-streaming sex films, the subject of alleged her claimed “revenge porn” became a hot topic in state legislative circles last year.

Gibson argued the distribution of those public recordings was in violation of the state’s revenge porn legislation. She said that the current proposal was advanced to a full committee by an 8-0 subcommittee vote, demonstrating that the General Assembly recognizes the gravity and breadth of the harm inflicted upon victims.

After posting adulterous activities with her husband on the internet under the username HotWifeExperience and asking their audience for “tips,” Susanna Gibson lost.  The 40-year-old also asked her internet followers for “tokens” so they could watch her urinate.

The present law in the state addresses pictures of naked people or people partially clothed with their breasts, genitalia, or pubic regions seen. Images of a sexual nature that do not reveal any specific body parts would be subject to Shin’s bill, which would broaden the scope of the legislation. What is meant by “sexual in nature” is not defined.

The statute of limitation for prosecution would also be extended to ten years from the day a victim discovers the wrongdoing, according to the legislation. Currently, it’s 5 years following the date of the infraction.

Shin said that victims sometimes aren’t even aware that their private photographs have been shared.

Bills have received support from the Virginia Victim Assistance Network.

According to its lobbyists, the practice of consensual picture exchange in relationships is on the rise and might lead to embarrassing hacks in the future.  As it is, it’s illegal in Virginia to knowingly distribute or sell explicit photos of another person to threaten, harass, or influence.