Jul 312015
 

By Linda Kor

A federal judge has ordered that a 2014 Arizona law banning the display of nude images will not be enforced. The ruling came after a joint settlement was reached between the Arizona Attorney General and a coalition of photographers, book and newspaper publishers, and librarians who filed a lawsuit regarding the implementation of the law.

The law, touted as the “revenge porn” law, made it a felony to intentionally disclose, display, distribute, publish, advertise or offer a photograph, videotape, film or digital recording of a person in a state of nudity or engaged in specific sexual activities if the person knew or should have known that the depicted person has not consented to the disclosure.

If convicted of the crime, the sentence would be at least six months in prison and up to a $150,000 fine, and if the person depicted was recognizable, the sentence would go up to a year in prison.           In the ruling made earlier this month, U.S. District Court Judge Susan Bolton stated that the law would no longer be enforceable in its current form.

The law went into effect last July despite opposition from those who believed the law violated the First Amendment and criminalized acts that could have led to the conviction of individuals with no intent to harm the person depicted.

“This is a complete victory for publishers, booksellers, librarians, photographers and others against an unconstitutional law,” said Media Coalition Executive Director David Horowitz, whose members include plaintiffs in the suit. “Now they won’t have to worry about being charged with a felony for offering newsworthy and artistic images.”

This ruling does not extend to minors, who are protected under state and federal laws pertaining to sexual exploitation of a minor.