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News and Events Home > New Missouri Law Takes Effect June 1, Criminalizing What is Often Called “Revenge Porn”
New Missouri Law Takes Effect June 1, Criminalizing What is Often Called “Revenge Porn”

On June 1, the distribution of what is termed “revenge porn” became a criminal offense in Missouri when legislation went into effect after it was signed into law by then-Gov. Eric Greitens on his last day in office.

The law criminalizes actions that are commonly threatened and used by abusive partners, making it a felony offense to share, or threaten to share, private sexual images of a person with the intent to harass, threaten or coerce that person.

Elements of the new crime include that the person who distributes the sexual images got them “under circumstances in which a reasonable person would know or understand that the image was to remain private; and knows or should have known that the person in the image did not consent to the dissemination” (Section 573.110 RSMo).

The threat to distribute the private sexual images is a class E felony that is legally defined as when the offender “gains or attempts to gain anything of value, or coerces or attempts to coerce another person to act or refrain from acting, by threatening to disseminate an image” of that other person (Section 573.112 RSMo).

The legislation creating the offense of “nonconsensual dissemination of private sexual images” was passed by the Missouri General Assembly as House Bill 1558 (Rep. Jim Neely, R-Cameron).

 

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