Code of the District of Columbia

Chapter 30A. Non-Consensual Pornography.


§ 22–3051. Definitions.

For the purposes of this chapter, the term:

(1) “Disclose” means to transfer or exhibit to 5 or fewer persons.

(2) “Harm” means any injury, whether physical or nonphysical, including psychological, financial, or reputational injury.

(3) “Internet” means an electronically available platform by which sexual images can be disseminated to a wide audience, including social media, websites, and smartphone applications; provided, that the term “Internet” does not include a text message.

(4) “Private area” means the genitals, anus, or pubic area of a person, or the nipple of a developed female breast, including the breast of a transgender female.

(5) “Publish” means to transfer or exhibit to 6 or more persons, or to make available for viewing by uploading to the Internet.

(6) “Sexual conduct” shall have the same meaning as provided in § 22-3101(5).

(7) “Sexual image” means a photograph, video, or other visual recording of an unclothed private area or of sexual conduct.


(May 7, 2015, D.C. Law 20-275, § 2, 62 DCR 16.)


§ 22–3052. Unlawful disclosure.

(a) It shall be unlawful in the District of Columbia for a person to knowingly disclose one or more sexual images of another identified or identifiable person when:

(1) The person depicted did not consent to the disclosure of the sexual image;

(2) There was an agreement or understanding between the person depicted and the person disclosing that the sexual image would not be disclosed; and

(3) The person disclosed the sexual image with the intent to harm the person depicted or to receive financial gain.

(b) A person who violates this section shall be guilty of a misdemeanor and, upon conviction, shall be fined not more than the amount set forth in § 22-3571.01, imprisoned for not more than 180 days, or both.


(May 7, 2015, D.C. Law 20-275, § 3, 62 DCR 16.)


§ 22–3053. First-degree unlawful publication.

(a) It shall be unlawful in the District of Columbia for a person to knowingly publish one or more sexual images of another identified or identifiable person when:

(1) The person depicted did not consent to the disclosure or publication of the sexual image;

(2) There was an agreement or understanding between the person depicted and the person publishing that the sexual image would not be disclosed or published; and

(3) The person published the sexual image with the intent to harm the person depicted or to receive financial gain.

(b) A person who violates this section shall be guilty of a felony and, upon conviction, shall be fined not more than the amount set forth in § 22-3571.01, imprisoned for not more than 3 years, or both.


(May 7, 2015, D.C. Law 20-275, § 4, 62 DCR 16.)


§ 22–3054. Second degree unlawful publication.

(a) It shall be unlawful in the District of Columbia for a person to knowingly publish one or more sexual images of another identified or identifiable person obtained from a third party or other source when:

(1) The person depicted did not consent to the disclosure or publication of the sexual image; and

(2) The person published the sexual image with conscious disregard that the sexual image was obtained as a result of a previous disclosure or publication of the sexual image made with an intent to harm the person depicted or to receive financial gain.

(b) A person who violates this section shall be guilty of a misdemeanor and, upon conviction, shall be fined not more than the amount set forth in § 22-3571.01, imprisoned for not more than 180 days, or both.


(May 7, 2015, D.C. Law 20-275, § 5, 62 DCR 16.)


§ 22–3055. Exclusions.

(a) This chapter shall not apply to:

(1) Constitutionally protected activity; or

(2) A person disclosing or publishing a sexual image that resulted from the voluntary exposure of the person depicted in a public or commercial setting.

(b) Nothing in this chapter shall be construed to impose liability on an interactive computer service, as defined in section 230(e)(2) of the Communications Act of 1934, approved February 8, 1996 (110 Stat. 139; 47 U.S.C. § 230(f)(2)), for content provided by another person.


(May 7, 2015, D.C. Law 20-275, § 6, 62 DCR 16.)


§ 22–3056. Affirmative defenses.

It shall be an affirmative defense to a violation of § 22-3052, § 22-3053, or § 22-3054 if the disclosure or publication of a sexual image is made in the public interest, including the reporting of unlawful conduct, the lawful and common practices of law enforcement, or legal proceedings.


(May 7, 2015, D.C. Law 20-275, § 7, 62 DCR 16.)


§ 22–3057. Jurisdiction.

A violation of § 22-3052, § 22-3053, or § 22-3054 shall be deemed to be committed in the District of Columbia if any part of the violation takes place in the District of Columbia, including when either the person depicted or the person who disclosed or published the sexual image was a resident of, or located in, the District of Columbia at the time that the sexual image was made, disclosed, or published.


(May 7, 2015, D.C. Law 20-275, § 8, 62 DCR 16.)