New Kansas bill would increase penalties for taking explicit pictures without consent

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TOPKEA, Ks. — Supporters of a new bill say you shouldn’t have to look over your shoulder when changing in a dressing room.

Women that have had explicit pictures taken of them say that the people who do it need to be more harshly punished.

The women ranged from teenagers to a former TV news anchor.

Christa Dubill a supporter of the new bill said, “You feel a loss of control of your own life and so what was really beautiful today to see, you see a couple of teenage girls and a couple of moms sort of take control back, to take something that was horrible and to try to make a change for the better.”

The women shared their experiences to the Senate Judiciary Committee.

One happened in a grocery store, when a person tried to take a photo up her skirt.

And others were in a dressing room while trying on clothing.

Emily, who also supports the new bill, said, “I think it’s super easy to be silenced by this kind of thing like it’s obviously pretty traumatic, but being able to turn it into a good thing and help the next victim be aware, just raising the signs so people aren’t voiceless, they know that this is happening to them and they know they can make a change and put bad people away.”

Emily says she wanted to share this picture she took inside of a Forever 21 dressing room.

The phone on the pair of jeans belonged to a man that had photos of over 150 women undressing on it.

They say lawmakers need to protect those women.

Sen. Julia Lynn, (R) Olathe, said, “Once those images are out there, they can immediately be uploaded and distributed to different outlets, so your private self is now exposed to the entire world, this is not good.”

Current law only says that that crime would just be a breach of privacy — the new bill would add to the punishment, making the person would have to register as a sex offender.

“Basically what this does is bring this law into the 21st century where everyone has a cellphone, and secretly recording someone that’s half nude or fully nude is very different than wiretapping someone’s phone,” said Dubill.

Supporters of the bill also discussed that if dressing rooms weren’t co-ed and had floor to ceiling walls, if that could also help address the issue.

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