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Hawaii Passes Revenge Porn Bill – Becomes 10th State in Nation to Enact Legislation

Vice Speaker John Mizuno (Kamehameha Heights, Kalihi Valley, and Lower Kalihi) the author of HB1750, Hawaii’s “revenge porn” bill, provided, “Prior to the convening of the 2014 legislative session only two states, California and New Jersey, had “revenge porn” laws.

HB 1750

Today Hawaii became the 10th State in the nation to have this legislation enacted. (Source National Conference of State Legislatures).  I looked at California’s revenge porn law as a blueprint, however, we crafted our law to be stronger against the perpetrator. California’s crime for distributing unconsented nude or sexual photos or videos of another person is considered a misdemeanor, punishable by up to six months in jail and up to a $1,000 fine; Hawaii’s revenge porn law makes it a Class C felony, up to five years in jail and up to a $10,000 fine.”

Revenge porn occurs where the depicted person initially agrees to the photographs or video, often in the context of a romantic relationship, only to have one partner distribute those nude or sexually graphic images via photos or on the internet after the relationship ends. This law will criminalize the perpetrator from distributing sexually explicit pictures that were intended to be private.

Mizuno states, “This newly enacted law will make it a crime to distribute, transmit or display photos, images or videos of sexual representation or nude photos without the consent of the person represented, with the intent to harm the depicted person, with respect to that person’s health, safety, business, calling, career, financial condition, reputation, or personal relationships.  With technology comes different crimes; today Hawaii will have passed a very important and progressive piece of legislation to address a crime that was unforeseeable years ago and criminalize such offensive crimes.  The fact that we made it a Class C felony, punishable by up to 5 years in jail and up to a $10,000 fine, is extremely tough on this sort of crime.”

Mizuno added, “The consequences of posting private images on the internet with the intent to hurt the person in such publications is degrading, humiliating, career threatening and places that person at significant risk in terms of her (his) safety, reputation, physical and mental health. At times this form of cyber bullying may cause the person to commit suicide.”  Please note news articles on the 15-year old girl in California who committed suicide after nude photos were posted of her.

According to Rep. Mizuno, “Today the State of Hawaii will have enacted a law which makes it a felony for perpetrators to post unconsented nude or sexual photos of another person on the internet.  There is not one scintilla of doubt this new law will save lives.”

“Revenge Porn” Bill Clears Conference Committee

Vice Speaker John Mizuno (Kamehameha Heights, Kalihi Valley, and Lower Kalihi), the author of HB1750, the revenge porn bill, provided, “I applaud the House and Senate Judiciary Chairs and conferees for passing HB1750, to make it a crime to distribute, transmit or display photos, images or videos of sexual representation or nude photos without the consent of the person represented.  With technology comes different crimes, today our Judiciary conferees passed a very important and progressive bill to address a gap in the law and criminalize such offensive crimes.”

HB1750Mizuno added, “The consequences of posting private images with the intent to hurt the person in such publications is degrading, humiliating, career threatening and at times may cause the person to commit suicide.”  A 15-year old girl in California committed suicide after nude photos were posted of her and a 17-year old Brazilian girl, who was reportedly the victim of revenge porn, also committed suicide.

HB1750 will go to a full House and Senate vote on Tuesday, April 29, 2014.

According to Rep. Mizuno, “The Hawaii State Legislature will have the opportunity to pass major legislation to address this type of hate crime. I believe my colleagues will support this bill and after it goes to the Governor, we could become the third state in the nation to have such legislation, behind California and New Jersey.”