Revenge Porn and a California Congresswoman

Until November 1, 2019, Katie Hill was the United States Representative representing California’s 25th district.  She was elected to this position in the 2018 “Blue Tsunami” election where Democrats took over the House of Representatives.

The 25th district includes the Lancaster-Palmdale area, Santa Clarita Valley, the northern area of the San Fernando Valley, and Simi Valley.  This district is about 46 percent white, eight percent black, 8 percent Asian, and 35 percent Hispanic.  The medium income is about $77,000 per year.

On October 27, Hill announced she was resigning from Congress because of allegations of an affair with a campaign staffer, and after her election, an affair with a congressional staffer.  Neither of which is illegal, but inappropriate relations with a congressional staffer is against the US House of Representatives’ rules.  Hill apologized for the affair with the campaign staffer, and denied the affair with the congressional staffer.  She also contended she is a victim of what is known as revenge pron.

Hill is in a nasty divorce (her words) and that she believes her estranged husband provided Republican and right-wing media outlets with intimate pictures of her without her consent.  Kenny Heslep, Hill’s estranged husband, had made no comment (as of November 1, 2019) but Heslep’s father said Heslep’s media accounts had been hacked.

In 2014, California’s, Penal Code Section (647) was amended to include subsection (j)(4) making it a crime to:

  1. Intentionally distribute images depicting another person engaging in sexual behavior or their intimate body parts;
  2. While understanding that those images were intended to be confidential;
  3. With the intent to cause that person to suffer emotional harm; and
  4. Causing that person to suffer distress.

Please note, that for this to a crime, no desire for revenge is necessary, only the intent to cause another person emotional harm, and does in fact, do so.

The criminal penalties for 647(j)(4) include a fine of up to $1000.00 and/or up to a year in jail.  The victim of revenge porn can also file a civil suit for monetary damages.

Before entering politics, Hill was active in non-profit organizations focusing on the homeless.  She will now return to her career in non-profit organizations, but focusing on preventing revenge porn and all the harm it causes its victims.

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