LEGISLATIVE NEWS: House Passes Bill Preventing Harmful Disclosure of Intimate Images

OLYMPIA – Today, the House passed House Bill 1999, a piece of legislation aimed at safeguarding minors and individuals from the harmful dissemination of fabricated intimate images. The bill, which was introduced by Rep. Tina Orwall (D-Des Moines), addresses the growing concern of digitally manipulated content depicting minors engaged in sexually explicit conduct, and establishes criminal offenses and civil remedies to combat this disturbing trend.

Under the legislation, fabricating depictions of minors engaged in sexually explicit conduct would be established as a criminal offense, and would prohibit dealing, sending, possessing, and viewing such depictions. The conduct constituting these offenses and the corresponding penalties mirror those for offenses involving non-fabricated depictions of minors in sexually explicit conduct.

The bill further introduces the offense of Disclosing Fabricated Intimate Images, targeting individuals who knowingly disclose fabricated intimate images of others without consent, causing harm to the depicted person. Such offenses are categorized as gross misdemeanors for first-time offenders and as unranked class C felonies for repeat offenders.

Additionally, House Bill 1999 establishes a civil cause of action under the Uniform Civil Remedies for the Unauthorized Disclosure of Intimate Images Act (UCRUDIIA) for the nonconsensual disclosure of fabricated intimate images. It specifies that consent to the disclosure of such images is valid only if set forth in a written agreement.

Ultimately, the bill ensures that individuals, especially minors, are shielded from the traumatic effects of unauthorized disclosure of fabricated intimate images.

“We stand with survivors impacted by the effects of sexual abuse and harassment and harmed by intimate image-based violence including fabricated images” said Rep. Orwall. “To safeguard the dignity and well-being of individuals, particularly minors, in an increasingly digital world, this legislation will help them have a path to justice and send a strong message that Washington State will not allow such forms of harm to its residents”.

The bill now heads to the Senate for further consideration. Learn more here or by clicking on the video below.