Hawaii Gov. Abercrombie signs 'revenge porn' bill into law - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Gov. Abercrombie signs 'revenge porn' bill into law

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HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) -

Human rights activists celebrated a victory Friday, as the revenge porn bill was signed into law by Governor Neil Abercrombie.

"I feel great. It's a huge victory for victims of sexual assault. I think it's important to remember that revenge porn is sexual assault" said Kris Coffield of the Imua Alliance.

The law makes it illegal for anyone to record or disseminate images or video or a person in the nude or in sexual conduct without their consent.

"Spreading somebody's naked image online for everybody to see without that person's permission is extremely abusive and traumatic for that victim" said Kathryn Xian of the Pacific Alliance to Stop Slavery.

The crime has become more pervasive with the growth of social media, making it difficult to assess how widespread it is.

"Given that the internet makes the commission of cyber crimes like revenge porn so easy, the number of cases out there is going to far exceed our expectations" said Coffield.

Legislators pushed to make it a felony given the severity of the offense.

"He or she can be in jail for over 5 years, so this is pretty powerful. It's pretty potent, so it will be a strong deterrent for those that want to do something like this" said State Representative John Mizuno.

Mizuno said it was difficult to legislate, given it deals with the free speech issues.

"However, if you're going to attack someone, affect their career, humiliate then, hurt them mentally, provide personal information about them, you're crossing the line".

The offense is now a class C felony, punishable by up to 5 years in jail.

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