RIVERHEAD, NY – Legislator Lindsay was joined by District Attorney Sini, Sheriff Toulon, Laura Ahearn of Crime Victims Center/Parents for Megan’s Law, and his colleagues in County government to speak about the importance of his new legislation (IR 1756) which will combat the heinous act of revenge porn. IR 1756 is a local law to prohibit the disclosure of intimate images in Suffolk County. This legislation seeks to put an end to the malicious act of sharing images and videos without consent, by establishing criminal and civil liability for individuals who disclose intimate images of another individual.
“Cell phones, photographs, and videos go hand-in-hand in this day and age,” said Legislator Bill Lindsay. “It is easy for a person to snap a photo and send an intimate image to a partner on their cell phone; unfortunately, at a later time the recipient could decide to maliciously share the image without consent, with third parties. Sharing an intimate image that was not meant for distribution is a despicable form of retribution that we as legislators must work towards preventing. This act, commonly referred to as “revenge porn” needs to have criminal and civil liabilities. It is time for Suffolk County to protect our residents from becoming a potential victim of this crime. This malicious act ruins lives, and haunts the victim throughout their personal and professional endeavors. I am hopeful that this legislation will be signed into law in Suffolk County, and that individuals will think twice before wrongfully sharing an intimate photo, or video.”
“There is currently no state or federal statute that prohibits or criminalizes the act of disseminating someone else's intimate images without their consent, which is why this legislation is so critical,” said District Attorney Sini. “My office is committed to protecting the victims of these crimes and we will be proud to investigate and prosecute offenders if this bill is passed. I would like to thank the Suffolk County Legislature for being on the forefront of this issue, particularly Legislator Lindsay for introducing this legislation that would rightfully allow my office to prosecute revenge porn as a crime.”
Laura Ahearn, Esq., LMSW, Executive Director of The Crime Victim’s Center/Parents for Megan’s Law commended Legislator Lindsay for spearheading legislation that will send a powerful message of intolerance to abusers who wreak havoc on unsuspecting victims. Ms. Ahearn said, “A single revenge porn posting can ruin a person’s reputation, affect their job and relationships, and subject them to harassment, online stalking and can place them in danger from those that view it. Revenge-porn victims often suffer severe emotional distress and long - lasting trauma because there can never be a guarantee that image(s) won’t resurface. Victims often cope with feelings of fear, anger, guilt, paranoia, depression, and sometimes even suicide and are subjected to a lifetime of others questioning their integrity. Revenge porn has serious consequences and needs to be treated as a serious crime.”
If you feel that you may be a victim of revenge porn please call the Suffolk County District Attorney’s Office at 631-853-5602 or email SCDAPhotoExtortion@suffolkcountyny.gov.