LANSING, Mich. — Sen. Rick Jones’ bill to criminalize “cyber revenge” in Michigan has been signed into law.
Cyber revenge, also known as revenge porn, is the posting of sexually explicit images on the Internet without the consent of an individual, but it also includes images given through consent within the confines of a private relationship.
“It is unfortunate that some people use the power of the Internet to destroy someone’s life or take out revenge on a former lover,” said Jones, R-Grand Ledge. “Abusing today’s great technological advancements, offenders of cyber revenge only need a moment to put a sexually explicit photo online without consent — for the purpose of intimidating or harassing the victim or to simply ruin their reputation. Now, it’s a crime and will be punished.”
Jones partnered with Sen. Steven Bieda, D-Warren, on the bipartisan measures to make it illegal in Michigan to intentionally disseminate any sexually explicit visual material of another person without the consent of the individual.
Under Senate Bills 508 and 509, now Public Acts 89 and 90 of 2016, first-time offenders would be guilty of a misdemeanor punishable by up to 93 days in jail, a fine of $500, or both. Subsequent violations could result in one year in prison, a $1,000 fine, or both.
“With these new laws, Michigan is taking a stand on behalf of these victims,” Jones said. “Everyone deserves to have their privacy protected — especially in their own home. Cyber revenge will not be tolerated in our great state.”
To learn more about cyber revenge, visit the Cyber Civil Rights Initiative website at www.endrevengeporn.org.