Missouri lawmakers considering bill to make revenge porn a felony

KANSAS CITY, Mo. - It’s often a candid snapshot from years ago. A spur of the moment, intimate selfie, that can take a lifetime to erase.

“It can be devastating, absolutely devastating to a victim,” said MaryAnne Metheny, the CEO at Hope House.

So far, 38 states, including Kansas, have passed a law against revenge porn. Missouri lawmakers in the house have given initial approval to a similar proposal for the Show-Me State.

Missouri House Bill 1558 would make it a felony for a former partner to share a compromising photo of an ex online or with a smartphone. An amendment to the bill would also make it a felony to even threaten someone with sharing a nude or partially clothed photo.

“Threatening behavior and threats to that individual is extremely common," Metheny said. "It’s one of the most common forms that abusers use to maintain control over their victims.”

H.B. 1558 still needs approval from the Missouri state senate and a signature from Gov. Eric Greitens before becoming law.