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It's now illegal in MN to post sex videos without permission

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Gov. Mark Dayton had a busy day Thursday as he signed 22 bills into law.

One of those was to make "revenge porn" punishable by law in Minnesota.

Revenge porn is the act of sharing explicit photos or videos of someone online without their permission. Prior to this week, there was no specific law in Minnesota that addressed the growing issue.

According to the bill approved by Dayton, it will be a crime to intentionally share explicit photos – without permission – of another person in a sexual act if the person is identifiable or if an intimate body part is exposed.

The bill specifically outlines what exactly counts as sexually explicit (it can be as little as a partially shown female nipple), as well as what types of sharing (including via social media or simply posted online) would constitute a crime.

Breaking that law would be considered a gross misdemeanor. An offender could be sentenced up to three years in jail and have to pay a $5,000 fine. Depending on circumstances, the punishment could be harsher.

The law will go into effect beginning in August.

According to the Cyber Civil Rights Initiative, revenge porn is a growing issue that usually affects women more than men.

Nonconsensual pornography has cost some people relationships and jobs. The organization says some victims have even committed suicide.

While not in all cases, the Cyber Civil Rights Initiative says revenge porn is often a form of domestic violence. For example, an abuser will threaten to leak intimate photos if the victim leaves, calls the police, etc.

The group says sex traffickers have been known to use photos to lure people into working for them, and rapists have used images to discourage victims from reporting crimes.

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