Oregon woman wants ‘revenge porn’ criminalized

This woman began a petition to criminalize "revenge porn" in Oregon, May 7, 2014 (KOIN 6 News)
This woman began a petition to criminalize "revenge porn" in Oregon, May 7, 2014 (KOIN 6 News)

PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN 6) — When Sophia broke up with her boyfriend about a month ago, she said he began posting naked pictures of her online and even sent them to her family.

She said he also posted her name, address and phone number.

But police in Oregon can’t do anything to help her.

“I was mortified,” she said. “Just messed up it’s allowed to be done.”

Police told Sophia what her ex-boyfriend did is not a violation of the Oregon criminal code because the pictures were taken with her consent.

So she began a petition to criminalize what’s called “revenge porn” in the same manner other states recently have.

“Not only is it dangerous, anybody can see it and come exactly to my house and do what they want,” she told KOIN 6 News. “But also nobody should have the right to explicit pictures of anybody else without their consent. Period. No matter what.”

She asked police to charge her ex-boyfriend with cyberbullying. But that law only applies to kids in schools, not the general population.

An attorney who spoke with KOIN 6 News said harassment laws in Oregon generally require some sort of physical threat or involvement. That’s not the case with Sophia.

On the National Conference of State Legislatures website is an overview of revenge porn laws through the US.

California recently signed a bill into law, but even there the act is criminal only if the victim did not give permission for the picture to be taken.

Both Florida and Georgia criminalized revenge porn last month.

The national Cyber Civil Rights Initiative says similar laws exist in three states and are under consideration in several state legislatures.

Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer signed a bill aimed at stopping jilted lovers from posting explicit pictures of their former flames online to get revenge.

The measure sponsored by Arizona Republican Rep. J.D. Mesnard makes it a felony to post nude photos of a person without their written consent.

The bill also defines some postings as acts of domestic violence.

Colorado is considering a bill that would make it a misdemeanor to publish that material without a person’s consent to hast them emotional distress, and offenders would be fined at least $10,000.

In Michigan, bills would make it illegal to post those images online without the subject’s written permission.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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