POLITICS

Revenge Porn Bill Inspired By Lauren McCluskey Case Passes Out Of House Committees

Feb 2, 2021, 12:18 PM | Updated: 2:01 pm
Utah State Capitol (KSL TV)...
Utah State Capitol (KSL TV)
(KSL TV)

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – A list of proposed bills have been introduced during the Utah legislative session, and one of them was inspired by the Lauren McCluskey case.

The legislation is a response to an incident where a University of Utah officer showed explicit photos of McCluskey to other people in ways that weren’t related to the stalking investigation into her ex-boyfriend.

Miguel Deras, who no longer works for the university’s police department, was not charged. Salt Lake County District Attorney Sim Gil said at the time that what Deras did was wrong, but there was not enough to prove he had broken a law because McCluskey was deceased.

Rep. Craig Hall, R-West Valley, sponsored HB147, which passed out of committee unanimously.

This bill now reads that there doesn’t need to be an example of emotional distress from someone who has died or is incapacitated to prove they were emotionally harmed by the release of intimate photos.

Ryan Holton, prosecutor with the Utah Attorney General’s Office, supported removing the harm or emotional distress requirement from the law altogether. He told the committee the nonconsensual sharing of an image is wrong, regardless of its impact on the victim.

He said a theft doesn’t become more or less of a crime based on how well the victim is doing afterward.

HB147 will move on to the full House for consideration.

Deseret News’ Ashley Imlay contributed to this report.

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Revenge Porn Bill Inspired By Lauren McCluskey Case Passes Out Of House Committees