East Hawaii News

New Law Makes ‘Revenge Porn’ Acts a Felony

June 25, 2014, 12:09 PM HST
* Updated June 25, 12:10 PM
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With a sweep of a pen, Hawaii has become the 10th state in the nation to enact a law that makes it a felony to transmit nude photos of a person on the internet without their consent.

Such acts usually involve photographs or video taken consensually, often in the context of a romantic relationship, but later used to do harm.

At the beginning of the year only two states had “revenge porn” laws, and, with the signing of House Bill 1750, Hawaii joins seven others in enacting the statutes during recent legislative sessions.

The Hawaii bill’s sponsor, House Vice-Speaker John Mizuno, noted that today’s technology involves new types of crimes.

Mizuno described the law as a “very important and progressive piece of legislation to address a crime that was unforeseeable years ago.”

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The offense is now a class “C” felony, punishable by up to five years in jail and a fine of up to $10,000.

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The bill was one of 10 involving criminal justice signed into law last week by Gov. Neil Abercrombie.

Others included:

  • Senate Bill 2687, which extends by two years to grace period for victims of child sexual abuse to bring civil actions against a perpetrator
  • House Bill 2034, which removes the statute of limitations for sexual assaults on the first and second degrees, as well as continuous sexual assault of a minor under the age of 14
  • Senate Bill 702, also known as “Alicia’s Law,” establishes a special fund for internet crimes against children
  • House Bill 1993, which requires a police officer to make a reasonable inquiry of witnesses or household members when physical abuse is suspected, and to order a 48-hour no-contact period
  • House Bill 2205, which imposes a mandatory minimum term of one year in prison for conviction of habitual property crime, allowing probation only for a first conviction
  • House Bill 1706, which sets a fixed fine of $200 for parking a vehicle on a bicycle lane or pathway

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