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Michigan House introduces bill to criminalize unsolicited nudes

Close up of woman's hands using smartphone touchscreen
Marek Yuralaits/tatsianamaphoto - stock.adobe.co

Michigan lawmakers in the House have introduced a bill to fine people who electronically transmit unsolicited nude photos or videos.

Under this bill, adults would be fined a minimum of $500 for knowingly sending sexually explicit material without prior consent.

Supporters say this legislation would add another mechanism to enforce existing indecent exposure laws.

Chris Becker is the prosecuting attorney for Kent County. He says he supports the proposed fine, but suggests more could be done to hold people accountable.

"So if you walk up to someone's house and knock on the door and expose yourself, you go to jail. But if you send them a picture on the phone, you don't? I don't know why that would be that much of a distinction," said Becker. "Seems like it should be a misdemeanor with possible jail time, leading up to the discretion of the judge to do so, in both instances."

Becker says it's helpful to document any unsolicited nude photos or videos before reporting them to the police.

"You know, from a prosecutor's perspective, we're lacking of resources as it is right now, in terms of just trying to stay on top of going through all the phones and electronic devices for all crimes," said Becker.

Becker says the bill would mostly increase protections for women and minors, who are historically more likely to receive unsolicited nudes online.

Priya Vijayakumar started her Newsroom Internship in January 2023. She is interested in science/health reporting and making the facts more accessible to all!
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