‘Revenge porn’ victim seeks new laws in Kansas, Missouri

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — Alecia Clemmons’ world changed after someone posted online naked pictures that her former husband had taken, along with her name and address.

The Kansas City-area woman had to move, get a new job and endure a torrent of abusive and sexually suggestive emails and messages.

Clemmons was “absolutely astounded,” to discover that what happened to her — called “revenge porn” — is not illegal in Kansas or Missouri, The Kansas City Star reported.

It’s illegal in both states to photograph people without their knowledge or to use compromising pictures for blackmail, but it is not illegal to make public pictures taken during an intimate relationship, even without the consent of the person pictured.

The single mother of two sons said that after she recovered from the initial humiliation, she decided to advocate for change. Clemmons testified last year in favor of bills in Kansas and Missouri that would criminalize “revenge porn,” but neither measure made it out of committee.

Rep. Stephanie Clayton, a Republican from Overland Park, Kansas, who introduced a revenge porn bill, said laws need to catch up with cellphone technology. She also said that some legislators still have an attitude that people who share those types of pictures deserve whatever they get.

Rep. Kevin Engler, a Republican from Farmington, proposed a similar bill in Missouri.

“It destroys lives,” he said. “It needs to be addressed.”

Clemmons said her life was turned upside down, having to endure aggressive emails and messages from “every scumbag in the world.”

“It was awful,” she said. “They said such grotesque things.”

She has met many other victims and started a Facebook group, “End Revenge Pornography Missouri & Kansas,” to educate the public. She said she is especially concerned after hearing stories of teenagers who committed suicide after they discovered their pictures were online.

Twenty-six states and the District of Columbia currently have revenge porn laws.

 

Copyright 2015 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

 

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