State senators unanimously voted Tuesday to criminalize “revenge porn.”

The bill would make it illegal for intimate or former intimate partners to post explicit images of someone online without their consent.

State Sen. Judy Schwank has been behind the effort to make it a crime.

While the Democrat from Berks County could not provide specific numbers regarding revenge porn incidents in the state, she said she believes it’s happening more often, and she is certain that women, as well as some men, have had to deal with such incidents.

Schwank said it’s a problem in this age of social media, when photos and videos can find their way onto countless websites. She said the cry for criminalizing the practice is growing louder as more men and women come forward with horror stories.

Intimate Partner Harassment would carry a penalty of up to five years in prison and a $10,000 fine in cases involving victims who are minors, and up to two years and $5,000 when the victim is an adult.

The proposal will now head to the House.

New Jersey was the first state to enact such a law, in 2004, with California following this fall. Similar measures have been introduced in five other states, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.



Karen Shuey is a Lancaster Newspapers staff writer who covers state and federal government and politics. She can be reached at kshuey@lnpnews.com or (717) 291-8716. You can also follow @Karen_Shuey on Twitter.

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