Del. Jon Cardin
Del. Jon Cardin

It may surprise you that the “nonconsensual disclosure of sexually explicit pictures and videos,” also known as “revenge porn,” is not currently a criminal act in Maryland. In fact, only two states in the country have criminalized it so far. Which is a bit strange, considering that such nonconsensual disclosure has such a devastating effect on victim’s lives, even leading some to suicide. But of course, it’s a type of abuse that was born in the Internet Age, and it’s been taking lawmakers a little while to catch up with the times.

Del. Jon Cardin intends to introduce a bill in the House that would make it a felony “to intentionally disclose in a public way, using the Internet or otherwise, a sexually explicit image of another person without their consent to release that image.” The crime would be punishable by up to five years in prison and/or a $25,000 fine.

Cardin will be hosting a press conference on Wednesday at the University of Maryland Francis King Carey School of Law. Joining him will be Law Prof. Daniell Keats Citron and victim advocate Annmarie Chiarini.