Bill Would Keep Pics, Video Of Sex Crime Victims From Being Released, But Some Have Concerns

Dec 14, 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. But not everyone is on board with the bill.

Rep. Wes Retherford (R-Hamilton) said an Ohio Supreme Court ruling last year suggests that pics, 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,” Retherford 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,” Hetzel 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.