Sending nude images in Virginia without consent can bring $500+ fine starting summer 2022

Watchful Eye

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Virginia has had enough of surprises, at least when it comes to receiving nude images. On July 1, a law goes into effect that deems sending an unwanted “intimate image” to be a form of trespassing, and the sender will be liable to pay at least $500.

As defined by this law, an “intimate image” is “a photograph, film, video, recording, digital picture, or other visual reproduction of a person 18 years or older who is in a state of undress so as to expose the human male or female genitals.” And it covers transmission from a computer or electronic device to another computer or electronic device.

The new law will apply when the recipient is also at least 18 years old and either hasn’t consented to receiving an intimate image from the sender or has forbidden the material.

This law will provide flexibility in the jurisdiction, allowing legal action to be brought in the location where the image is transmitted from, received, or possessed by the recipient. A person found in violation will be liable for actual damages or $500, whichever is greater. Plus, the sender is on the hook for the recipient’s attorney fees and costs as long as they are “reasonable.”

This is bipartisan legislation that passed both houses of the legislature with unanimous support. According to WUSA9, this legislation was backed by the dating app Bumble, which got a similar act passed in Texas and is working on efforts in other states.

Did You Know: Governor Youngkin asked lawmakers to return $4.5 billion to ‘overtaxed’ Virginians?

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