Senator Michael HastingsSPRINGFIELD – Legislation making it a felony to post sexually explicit videos or photos of another person, without their consent, to an Internet site was approved earlier today by the Illinois Senate and now moves to the Illinois House.

State Senator Michael Hastings (D–Orland Park), the bill sponsor, commended his colleagues for supporting the measure.

“I believe we have a well-crafted proposal that will put in place criminal penalties to prevent future victims from this type of harassment,” Hastings said. “I want to thank my colleagues in the Senate for recognizing that our laws need to reflect changes in technology, because unfortunately, new technology can have unintended negative consequences.”

Hastings noted that revenge porn is a growing problem with the rise of social media, when photos and videos that were made privately during a relationship can make their way onto hundreds of websites. Oftentimes, the posts include names, addresses, e-mail addresses and other information that invites varying forms of harassment, including cyberbullying and cyberstalking.

“This can be extremely devastating and humiliating to an unsuspecting victim,” Hastings said. “There are reported instances where the victims are forced to change their names and even move to escape the barrage of unwanted harassment.”

In Illinois, it is illegal to post identifying or graphic information of a minor, or an adult without consent, on a pornographic site, but there is currently no state law to prevent exes from sharing explicit photos after a bad breakup. If passed, the law would make revenge porn a Class 4 felony, punishable by up to 3 years in jail and a $25,000 fine.

Senate Bill 2694 would exempt the news media for publishing explicit images or videos of substantial public interest, such as the images that were made public during the Anthony Weiner scandal.

Category: Press Releases

Hastings-revengeporn-hearing2State Senator Michael Hastings (D–Orland Park) moved legislation today that would make it a felony to post sexually explicit videos or photos of another person, without their consent, to an Internet site.

“Revenge porn is the ultimate form of cyberbullying, and we currently don’t have a criminal recourse that would deter a person from committing this heinous act,” Hastings told members of the Senate Criminal Law Committee.

Diana Pisone, a resident of Oak Park who testified at the hearing, said her ex-husband threatened to post explicit pictures and videos of her on the Internet in 2010. At the time, her only course of action was to file an emergency order of protection against him, which has since expired. She is now worried that her ex-husband could follow through on his threat at any time.

“Those pictures and videos are a noose around my neck,” Pisone said during her testimony.

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Category: Press Releases

Hastings-go-redSPRINGFIELD – On Wednesday, Senator Michael Hastings (D–Orland Park) joined fellow lawmakers and advocates in wearing red at the state Capitol to show support for women’s health. The American Heart Association hosted Go Red for Women, an event aimed at raising awareness of heart ailments such as heart disease.

“This event was a great way to raise awareness about the dangers of heart disease,” Hastings said. “I wanted to show my support because I have three sisters and a mother who I love very much.”

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, heart disease is the leading cause of death among women in the United States, claiming nearly 300,000 lives a year.

Category: Press Releases

polaroidsLegislators in the Illinois Senate may soon debate a proposal targeting “revenge porn.” Revenge porn, sometimes called “involuntary porn”, is nude or sexually explicit photos or videos posted online without the consent of the subject – oftentimes done by a bitter ex.

The proposal, sponsored by State Senator Michael Hastings (D–Orland Park), would make it a felony to post sexually explicit videos or photos of another person, without consent, to an Internet site. If passed, it would also make it a felony to host a website that requires victims to pay a fee to have the explicit videos or photos removed.

“It’s extortion, it’s wrong and it’s a growing problem,” Hastings said. “Unfortunately, this happens daily to unsuspecting people who often times use technology without fully realizing the consequences.” 
 
Hastings noted that revenge porn is a growing problem with the rise of social media, as private photos or videos can make their way onto websites. Oftentimes, the posts include names, addresses, e-mail addresses and other information that invites varying forms of harassment, including cyberbullying and cyberstalking.

“This can be extremely devastating and humiliating to an unsuspecting victim,” Hastings said. “There are reported instances where the victims are forced to change their names and even move to escape the barrage of unwanted harassment.”

In Illinois, it is illegal to post identifying information of a minor, or an adult without consent, on a pornographic site. But there is currently no state law to prevent individuals from posting sexually explicit content of an adult, without consent, to an Internet site. If passed, it would make revenge porn a Class 4 felony, punishable by up to 3 years in jail and a $25,000 fine.

New Jersey and California have enacted laws criminalizing revenge porn, and other states, including Maryland and Virginia, are also considering measures. In December, a California man was hit with 31 felony charges for operating a revenge porn site.

Here is a fact sheet on the proposed legislation:

Revenge-Porn-Fact-Sheet-1

Category: Press Releases

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Welcome to the official website of Senator Michael E. Hastings. Please fill out our contact form to contact Senator Hastings directly or you may call any of our offices. We look forward to hearing from you.

Springfield Office:
118 Capitol Building
Springfield, IL 62706
(217) 782-9595

East Office:
813 School Ave
Matteson, IL 60443

District Office:
20855 South LaGrange Road
Frankfort, IL 60423
(815) 464-5431

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