‘Revenge porn’ bill signed into law by Gov. Scott

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A bill meant to crack down on posting sexually explicit photos of exes and former lovers by stiffening the penalties was signed into law by Gov. Rick Scott on Thursday.

Under SB 538, it is a first-degree misdemeanor punishable by up to one year in jail and $1,000 the first time a person posts to a website an explicit image of another person. All subsequent offenses will rate a third-degree felony, punishable by up to five years in prison.

The Senate initially sought a tougher version of the bill, which would have included email, but the House passed a more lenient version of the measure that only applies to posting pictures on websites. It does not include social media sites. The Senate was unable to compromise the differences between the chambers because the House abruptly quit.

The bill was sponsored by state Sen. David Simmons.

Peter Schorsch is the President of Extensive Enterprises and is the publisher of some of Florida’s most influential new media websites, including SaintPetersBlog.com, FloridaPolitics.com, ContextFlorida.com, and Sunburn, the morning read of what’s hot in Florida politics. SaintPetersBlog has for three years running been ranked by the Washington Post as the best state-based blog in Florida. In addition to his publishing efforts, Peter is a political consultant to several of the state’s largest governmental affairs and public relations firms. Peter lives in St. Petersburg with his wife, Michelle, and their daughter, Ella.