The law is intended to crack down on attempts to humiliate former
lovers, among others, by publishing images of a nude person or an
individual engaged in sexual activities without his or her
Under the law, perpetrators of so-called revenge porn would face a
presumptive sentence of 18 months in prison for the crime, which
could be increased to 2.5 years if the person shown in the image can
The new Arizona law drew rare, widespread support this month from a
Republican-dominated state legislature that commonly has divided
along party lines. Both the state Senate and the House passed the
measure unanimously last week.
The law makes it a crime "to intentionally disclose, display,
distribute, publish, advertise or offer a photograph, videotape,
film or digital recording of another person … if the person knows or
should have known that the depicted person has not consented to the
Last year, California Governor Jerry Brown signed the first such law
in the United States, touching off a groundswell of activity
The Arizona law is among more than two dozen similar measures
proposed by lawmakers nationwide to deal with the high-profile
issue, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.
Bills have been passed into law this year in Georgia, Idaho, Utah,
Virginia and Wisconsin, said Pam Greenberg, a conference researcher.
Of that group, she said only Idaho makes it a felony for a first
violation as Arizona does, while it becomes a felony on the second
offense in Georgia and Utah.
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Brewer had no comment when her decision was made public on
Wednesday, and a spokesman declined comment.
Arizona state Representative J.D. Mesnard, a Republican who
sponsored the bill, said the state needed such legislation to keep
pace with new ways that technology can be used in a bad way.
"I believe the bill is going to do some good," Mesnard said, moments
after learning that the legislation had been signed. "It helps with
this new form of wrong, with a new form of being able to harm
people. It's sad we are being forced to do something like this."
(Editing by Cynthia Johnston and Prudence Crowther)
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