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Colorado State Representative Bob Gardner talks to a news reporter before the opening day of legislation. Both the Colorado State House of Representatives and Senate had their opening day of Legislature at the state Capitol on Jan. 9, 2013.

While laws already exist criminalizing revenge porn, one state senator  believes victims should be entitled to seek civil damages.

Sen. Bob Gardner’s Senate Bill 100, approved unanimously Wednesday by the Senate State, Veterans and Military Affairs Committee, would allow people to seek damages for being victimized online.

Revenge porn, typically the sharing of intimate images without the subject’s consent, can cause substantial damage, Gardner, R-Colorado Springs, told the committee.

“Victims are fired from their job, expelled from their schools; it may affect their future, family life and relationships,” he said.

Gardner’s bill would allow victims to seek economic, non-economic, statutory or punitive damages and court costs.

“Sometimes these things are sold,” he said.

In that case, the victim could also collect as much money as the defendant gained from that sale, the bill says.

The measure is the product of about three years of work, Gardner said. And the topic of revenge porn is something that has consumed the attention of many a legislator for the past decade or so.

No witnesses testified for or against the bill. Sen. Lois Court, D-Denver, commended Gardner for his work on the measure which is indeed important, she said.

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