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People Convicted of "Revenge Porn" Could Face Two Years in Prison

It's probably one of people's worst nightmares, going on the Internet or social media and finding a compromising picture of yourself not intended for everyone to see.
FREDERICK, Md. - Soon people in Maryland who post "revenge porn" on the Internet could face some stiff penalties.

It's probably one of people's worst nightmares, going on the Internet or social media and finding a compromising picture of yourself not intended for everyone to see.

"Please don't do stupid stuff and get it filmed, and the other thing is, if you do stupid stuff and someone uses that to harm you, they could be facing a criminal charge," said Del. Kathy Afzali, (R) - Frederick County.

The Maryland Legislature passed a law this year making it a crime to post "revenge porn," or sexually-suggestive pictures on the Internet with the intent of harming someone.

The crime carries a fine of up to $500 and two years in prison.

Afzali has two teenage daughters and co-sponsored the law.

"It means that the ex-lover or boyfriend or whoever can't use those pictures and other information to have revenge on someone who may have broken up with them or who may have walked away from the relationship," Afzali said.

The law is getting two thumbs up from police.

"This is going to give us another tool to combat these types of crimes. As technology advances, we tend to interact with one another in more modern manners, whether that be social media to the Internet. With that advancement, people also tend to commit crimes that way as well," said Cpl. Aaron Lapp, with the Frederick City Police Department.

Police say most of the revenge porn cases they've dealt with are high-school kids. They hope to law can act as a deterrent to avoid having sexually-suggestive pictures floating around the Internet.

"A lot of times, school-aged children that just aren't thinking or haven't thought through their actions have sent a picture of a boyfriend or a significant other, and that picture is then circulated through the Internet," Lapp said. "Luckily, it doesn't happen a lot, but hopefully we can help prevent that from happening in the future."

The law will go into effect on October 1. You can read it by clicking here.
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