Texting a sexually explicit image of another person without their permission is about to be illegal in Oregon.
House Bill 2393, which today passed the Senate unanimously by a 28-0 vote, closes a loophole in prior legislation to make spreading intimate images on any medium unlawful. Currently, only sexually explicit images shared on internet websites are considered illegal.
This bill extends the law to all mediums—meaning if a person texted an explicit video or photo of a sexual partner to friends, without that partner's permission, it would be a crime.
The bill is intended to target what's known as "revenge porn"—sharing intimate photos and videos to get revenge on a former sexual partner. One does not have to be explicitly revenge-seeking in order to be prosecuted under the new law, however.
"'Revenge porn' was the specific type of use of these images that triggered all of this a few years ago," Rick Osborn, the Oregon Senate Democrats spokesperson says. "But it actually does apply broadly no matter whether it's for revenge or some other purpose."
Sen. Shemia Fagan (D-Portland) added in a statement: "No one should have intimate images of themselves made public or distributed broadly without their consent, no matter the medium."
"This bill closes a commonly exploited loophole to better fight 'revenge porn' in all of its distribution methods," she said.
Images shared without consent causes "devastating harm," Michele Roland-Schwartz, the Oregon Attorney General's Sexual Assault Task Force executive director said in a statement, "as victims experience threats of sexual assault, stalking, harassment, shaming and, in some cases, loss of a job or employment opportunities."
"Victims experience ongoing humiliation as images are exposed to innumerable views on multiple online platforms," Roland-Schwartz added.
HB 2393 now goes to Gov. Kate Brown for her signature.