'Revenge porn' bill passes Tennessee House

'Revenge porn' bill passes Tennessee House

Posted: Updated: March 13, 2014 05:57 PM
NASHVILLE, Tenn. -

We've all heard stories about the famous and not so famous who have discovered intimate photos they thought were private on the Internet, posted without their consent or knowledge.

In Tennessee, there are no legal ramifications for someone who distributes those pictures in places like the Internet where they would cause harm to the person in the photo.

Thursday morning, the Tennessee House voted to change that.

Members passed a bill that would make it a Class A misdemeanor to "record by any means" a person's "intimate parts" and distribute it "with the intent to cause emotional distress."

Sponsor Mike Turner outlined a scenario for why the bill is needed.

He said two people may have shared an intimate photo, "but then a breakup and without their knowledge their former partner posts it on the Internet to try to embarrass or hurt that person."

Rep. William Lamberth of Sumner County offered another reason why he voted for the measure.

"As a former prosecutor I hear of these stories all the time, but there was nothing we could do about it until now," the lawmaker told News 2.

The measure carries a penalty of up to one year in jail and a $2,500 fine.

The bill still needs approval from the Senate.  It's scheduled to be heard next week in the Senate Judiciary Committee.

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