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Legally Speaking: What Arizona’s modified revenge porn law means for jilted lovers

(StockSnap Photo)

Arizona’s revenge porn law has been modified and signed into law by Gov. Doug Ducey.

We all know that breakups can be bad. They can be messy, emotional and leave us with at least some amount of baggage and anger, all of which can lead someone to wanting to humiliate his or her ex.

I’m going to make this extremely clear: This is NOT a good idea, legally or personally speaking.

The revenge porn law — A.R.S. 13-1425 — was originally put into effect back in the summer 2014 but it was considered too broad to be enforced.  As such, the Arizona House and Senate unanimously passed a new version of the law which became effective immediately on March 11.

Here is what you need to know: You cannot take revenge on your ex (or anyone) by posting photos or videos of them online.

It is a felony (Class 4 if the person is recognizable and a Class 5 if they are not) to intentionally share a sexual photo or video of a person without that person’s permission with the intent to harm, harass or intimidate them. Posting revenge porn can also be considered a domestic violence offense.

If you choose to post the picture or video or share it, you could be looking at prison time and the loss of civil rights, including the right to own a firearm.

In addition to the criminal penalties mentioned above, the vengeful person could also end up being sued and be subjected to a civil judgment, which could involve paying the victim a substantial amount of money.

Don’t kid yourself if you think revenge porn is only limited to adults. Tweens and teens are very much involved in sending nude photos to each other, which puts them at risk to violate the law or be a victim.

You need to have a discussion with your kids about sending nude selfies and what to do, and not to do, if they receive one.

Not all states have a revenge porn law, but hopefully the states that do not will see what Arizona has done and realize that, unfortunately, there is a need for this type of law. As technology advances, new situations and problems will be created and there is always lag time before the law catches up.

I am proud to say that, at least this time, our state is ahead of the curve and being as proactive as possible. Good job, Arizona!

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