Bipartisan Bill Would Shield Nude Pictures Of Sex-Crime Victims In Ohio

Dec 15, 2017

Two-thirds of the members of the Ohio House have sponsored a bipartisan bill that would ban photos, videos and digital media of victims of sexually oriented offenses from being released as public records.

Republican Rep. Wes Retherford of Hamilton says an Ohio Supreme Court ruling last year suggests that pictures, video and digital media of victims who are nude or in compromising situations could be publicly released after trials.

“And the purpose of this is to keep them from being victimized again,” he said.

Dennis Hetzel with the Ohio Newspaper Association says the bill may be well-intentioned, but it’s unnecessary because state law already recognizes victims’ right to privacy.

“I think a lot of the Republicans in particular ought to be able to relate to that concept that we shouldn’t just be adding language that we don’t need,” he said.

Hetzel says there’s also a concern about lengthening the list of items exempt from public records law. And Hetzel and Retherford say there have been no cases in which these kinds of images were released.