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Posting "revenge porn" in Michigan could cost jail time, fines under new law

Sep 16, 2014

A state House committee takes up legislation tomorrow aimed at cracking down on so-called "revenge porn."

Posting 'sexually explicit' photos of someone without their permission in Michigan may soon result in fines and jail time.
Credit Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

Under the proposed law, posting sexually explicit photos of a person without their consent could land someone in jail for three months and/or a $500 fine. A second offense could result in a year in jail and a $1,000 fine.

State Sen. Steve Bieda, D-Warren, says there’s a growing problem with people posting nude or semi-nude photos of former intimate partners.

“I think anybody can see the outrage in that something that was meant to be private is taken to a public level,” says Bieda.

The issue recently received a major jolt of publicity when dozens of intimate photos of celebrities, including Detroit Tigers pitcher Justin Verlander and his model girlfriend, Kate Upton, were released online.

Bieda says he's been working with interested parties to avoid any First Amendment issues with his bill.

“Unfortunately we can’t solve all the evil in the world, all the bad things in the world,” says Bieda. “But we can do some work in our own little corner of the world.”

The state Senate has already passed the legislation.