Legislative study group on ‘revenge porn’ meets in St. Paul

A legislative working group that hopes to fine-tune state laws against “revenge porn” meets today in St. Paul.

The current law, which treats revenge porn as criminal defamation, was ruled unconstitutional by the state Court of Appeals last month. So state Rep. John Lesch, a DFLer from St. Paul, who is also a St. Paul city prosecutor, formed the group to draft legislation to address the issue and create tough penalties.

Revenge porn is considered the online posting of intimate or sexually explicit photos to embarrass or harass someone.

Lesch told KSTP that it happens often:

A typical case would be, a woman calls me and tells me that she has discovered that her ex-boyfriend has put a video of her on one or more websites and identified her personally by name.

I’m in the unfortunate position of telling her number one, it’s up there. It’s a long process to try and get [it] down. It’s like cleaning up your credit. Number two, how do we go after this guy.

Today is the first meeting of the group, which includes:

  • Lesch
  • State Rep. Tara Mack
  • State Rep. Debra Hilstrom
  • Samuel Clark – Saint Paul City Attorney
  • Susan Segal – Minneapolis City Attorney
  • Jeff Edblad – Isanti County Attorney
  • Robert Small – Minnesota County Attorney’s Association
  • John Arechigo – Defense Attorney
  • Erick Kaardal – Defense Attorney
  • Chuck Samuelson – Executive Director, ACLU of Minnesota
  • Jeanne Ronayne – Executive Director, MNCASA
  • Carrie Goldberg – C.A. Goldberg Law
  • Dr. Mary Anne Franks – Law professor, CCRI
  • Rana Alexander – Battered Women’s Legal Advocacy Project
  • Safia Khan – Minnesota Coalition for Battered Women
  • Charlie Clippert, MN Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers
  • Chrissy Chambers, Advocate

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