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NH: Bill would use sex offender registry to discourage posting of nude selfies

[unionleader.com]

CONCORD — In the wake of a report in the New Hampshire Sunday News about a website where nude selfies of young women are traded like baseball cards, the legislature is looking at tougher penalties to discourage such behavior.

A House committee on Wednesday debated a bill that would add people convicted of revenge porn, or any nonconsensual dissemination of private sexual images, to the sex offender registry.

Rep. Timothy Lang, R-Sanbornton, speaking in support of the bill, said the women whose nude or semi-nude pictures are disseminated online without their permission are made victims over and over again, as the images are distributed and redistributed.

“As a technologist, I can tell you that what you put on the internet is there forever,” he said. Lang spent 12 years in local law enforcement and works as IT director for the Bank of New Hampshire Pavilion (formerly Meadowbrook).

Lang said on the first offense, law enforcement would classify the crime as level one, so that upon conviction the offender’s name would appear in a private registry, accessible only by law enforcement.

“It’s on the second offense, recidivism, that it becomes a public record,” he said. “The safeguards are there so we don’t get an innocent person put up there on the registry.”

The bill goes too far, according to libertarian and Free Keene member Ian Freeman.

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Join the discussion

  1. J

    “The state still has to prosecute and prove it was not consensual in order to have this PUNISHMENT to apply” states Rep. Timothy Kane at one point. Did I hear the word PUNISHMENT?? Of course I did. Let’s start saving every time a top ranking official uses the term punishment for future lawsuits.

  2. Sam

    I like how this guy thinks

    “Let’s get people to take responsibility for their actions,” he testified. “If you don’t want your picture on the internet, maybe you shouldn’t allow it to be taken in the first place. Now if you never consented to having your picture taken, that’s a problem.”

    Easiest way to stop it. Stop taking nudes and sending them to random guys.

    Oh @J don’t forget the line after “This would be a punishment on top of an offense that is already proven.”

  3. Dustin

    The legal presumption should be (but probably isn’t, in practice) that if a woman consents to taking a nude photo or video, she does so with the common knowledge that it may wind up on the Internet. She cannot claim it was consensual when taken (especially if she took it herself), then later claim it wasn’t simply because it was distributed. That was a risk she voluntarily assumed when the photo/video was taken. To overcome that presumption should require more proof than her unsupported claim, but likely won’t.

    But a registerable offense for revenge porn? Would that also apply to those who uploaded “leaked” celebrity sex tapes? Most of those were publicity stunts, distributed by the very same women who made them in the first place. According to this law as I understand it, their publicized outrage is proof that they are guilty of victimizing themselves. Ditto, the current trend of sexting teens being prosecuted as adults. Leaving aside that the registry offers no protection to begin with, how does registering those who victimize themselves protect the public?

    Notice also the law as reported doesn’t apply to male victims. Why are only women so constantly being relieved of responsibility for for their own behavior in sexual matters?

  4. Dustin

    “The safeguards are there so we don’t get an innocent person put up there on the registry.”

    Never mind that there are already innocent people on the registry. Many, if not most, are there for taking a plea despite innocence because the law has made defending yourself against sex offenses all but impossible. Not to mention the children, whom many states and people consider innocent no matter what their actions were.

    Also, J was dead on when he pointed out that the quoted supporter of this bill correctly but probably inadvertently referred to the registry as punishment, and agree that it should be saved for further demonstrations of government intent to make the registry punitive despite stated intents and claims to be regulatory.

  5. AJ

    I say the more the merrier. The more indiscriminately they apply the RC laws, the better. It will just water it down, make it a bloated, administrative nightmare, and will eventually be repealed or ignored.
    =====
    “As a technologist, I can tell you that what you put on the internet is there forever,” he said. Lang spent 12 years in local law enforcement and works as IT director for the Bank of New Hampshire Pavilion (formerly Meadowbrook).
    —–
    Oh, so when you say I’m off the registry, I’m really not? Good thing that’s not punishment or shaming or anything.

    • Dustin

      “Oh, so when you say I’m off the registry, I’m really not? Good thing that’s not punishment or shaming or anything.”

      Excellent point, AJ. Kicking myself that I didn’t notice that. If I ever create my own universe, I’ll have you look it over to tell me what else it needs. Obviously, a sex offender registry won’t be a part of it.

  6. It doesn’t work

    “The registry” is Punishment!!!!

  7. CR

    Since when does “nude selfie” equate to “private sexual image”? That implies that nudity is sexual.

  8. d

    If the registry is punishment then it is a double jeopardy violation and unconstitutional just like everyone has been saying all along I love when law makers slip up and tell the truth by mistake.

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