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Lawmakers move toward agreement on outlawing “revenge porn”

ALBANY -- After hammering out differences, state lawmakers might be moving toward an agreement to outlaw “revenge porn” as a deadline nears.

Key legislators in the state Assembly and Senate have united behind a new bill, casting aside several other competing versions. The new bill, sponsored by Sen. Phil Boyle (R-Bay Shore) and Assmb. Edward Braunstein (D-Queens), would make it a misdemeanor to disseminate an “intimate image” with the “intent to cause material harm to the emotional, financial or physical welfare of another person.” Previous bills proposed to make the crime a felony.

The Boyle-Braunstein bill also would allow victims to pursue civil lawsuits.

Referred to as “revenge porn,” such action typically is taken after a couple breaks up.

In a memo accompanying the bill, Boyle and Braunstein said: “Posting these photographs online is damaging to the reputations of the victims. These photographs have extensive negative effects, including destroying future intimate relationships and educational and employment opportunities.”

New York is one of just 12 states that doesn’t outlaw revenge porn, backers of the proposal said.

Lawmakers have little time to act on the proposal -- the state legislative session is scheduled to end Wednesday.

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