Posting sex videos online without permission is closer to being illegal in MN


"Revenge porn" is closer to being illegal in Minnesota.

The Senate voted 62-3 Monday to approve a bill that makes sharing nudes or sexually explicit photos and videos online, without the consent of those involved, a crime under Minnesota law.

John Lesch, a state representative who spearheaded and wrote the bill after meeting with advocacy groups last year, said in a news release the Senate's passing and support from both parties shows how urgent an issue revenge porn is.

“I know time is running out this session, but this [is] something we can and should get done,” Lesch continued. “Right now, there is essentially no accountability for those committing these acts, and as a Legislature we cannot afford to wait to say ‘No More.’”


Revenge porn laws

About 23 states currently have laws specifically addressing revenge porn, according to EndRevengePorn.org. While it can happen to anyone, the group says 90 percent of those victimized with revenge porn are women.

For the bill approved by the Senate to become law, it'll have to get passed by the full House as well (a committee approved a version of the proposal earlier this spring), then signed by Gov. Mark Dayton.

Here's the House version. Lesch said he hopes it'll get a vote there soon.

Why isn't it illegal right now?

Lesch, a Democrat from St. Paul, is an attorney and has said revenge porn cases have become more frequent.

But right now, there’s no specific law in Minnesota that addresses these cases – in fact, he was motivated to pursue the issue after a man accused of posting revenge porn online had his conviction reversed by the Minnesota Court of Appeals, which said the law he was charged under (criminal defamation) was too broad and not applicable.

“This is a reprehensible crime which has far reaching impact on its victims and their loved ones,” Lesch said at the time.

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