January 18, 2022

Indiana revenge porn law upheld by state Supreme Court


The Indiana Supreme Court unanimously upheld the state's revenge porn law as constitutional. - (Brandon Smith/IPB News)

The Indiana Supreme Court unanimously upheld the state's revenge porn law as constitutional.

(Brandon Smith/IPB News)

The Indiana Supreme Court says the state’s revenge porn law is constitutional.

The 2019 law makes it a crime to share an “intimate image” if the person sharing it knows the person in the image didn’t consent to it being shared.

College student Connor Katz shared on Snapchat a brief video of his then-girlfriend performing oral sex, without her consent. After being charged with violating Indiana’s new revenge porn law, Katz challenged it, arguing it unconstitutionally violated his free speech rights.

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But in a unanimous opinion, the state Supreme Court disagreed. Justice Mark Massa wrote the law doesn’t violate either the Indiana Constitution or the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution.

Massa noted the statute is a restriction on speech. But it’s allowable because the state is trying to solve an “‘actual problem’ of paramount importance” – protecting people from unwanted sharing of private, sexual images. And Massa said the law is also limited enough that it’s not unconstitutionally broad.

Contact reporter Brandon at bsmith@ipbs.org or follow him on Twitter at @brandonjsmith5.

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