Oklahoma lawmakers are preparing to introduce legislation aimed at addressing image-based sexual abuse, commonly known as “revenge porn” or “non-consensual pornography.” The upcoming legislative session, set to begin in February 2024, will see lawmakers crafting new laws to modify penalties for these crimes.
Advocate for human rights, Heaven Taylor, shared her personal experience as a victim of non-consensual pornography, which motivated her involvement in the fight against image-based sexual abuse. Taylor emphasized the need to update existing laws to account for the increasing use of artificial intelligence in perpetrating these crimes. She highlighted the potential long-term consequences on victims’ personal and professional lives, as well as their mental health.
Representative Toni Hasenbeck, who recently hosted an interim study on image-based sexual abuse, echoed the need for stronger legislation. She emphasized the importance of addressing not only artificial intelligence but also extortion in the laws. Hasenbeck expressed concern over the ease with which predators can manipulate individuals, particularly teenagers, into sharing explicit photos.
The proposed legislation aims to make all forms of insidious behavior related to image-based sexual abuse equally punishable by law. It seeks to include provisions that address artificial intelligence and extortion. Additionally, the punishment for repeat offenders may be aggravated, while considering the circumstances and patterns of their behavior.
Lawmakers are examining laws from other states, such as Virginia, to inform the language and scope of the legislation. The goal is to ensure that the laws encompass images altered with artificial intelligence, as well as other forms of identity theft, such as voice data.
The upcoming legislative session will provide an opportunity for Oklahoma lawmakers to address the issue of image-based sexual abuse comprehensively and strengthen the state’s criminal justice system in this regard.