'Revenge porn' will be a felony

 
Associated Press
Updated 12/29/2014 10:56 PM
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Distributing private images online without a person's consent will be a felony under a law signed by Gov. Pat Quinn.

The measure addresses so-called revenge porn in which a former romantic partner posts private pictures or videos in retaliation.

Democratic state Sen. Michael Hastings, a sponsor of the legislation, said it's "psychological abuse to the highest degree." His office says it's already illegal to put identifying or graphic information without consent on pornographic websites. But state law didn't previously address privately shared images.

Quinn said Monday that cyberbullying can have lasting and devastating effects. He says the law cracks down on perpetrators and will prevent more people from becoming victims, most of whom are women.

Critics had expressed free speech concerns.

The law takes effect in June 2015.

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