New law could result in criminal charging for illegal filming

Published: Jun. 27, 2022 at 8:11 PM CDT
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NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WSMV) - A state law has changed that could result in criminal charges if your child puts an embarrassing video of another student on social media as a result of a WSMV4 Investigates story.

It was raw video recorded between a mother and son.

“What’s the first thing that came out of your mouth?” the mom asked her son. “The first thing was my life was over,” he replied.

The Franklin County teen was reacting to a video secretly taken of him in a bathroom stall at school.

WSMV4 blurred out the screengrab of the video, which captured everything from his waist down.

According to the police report, the student who secretly recorded the video then shared it on SnapChat.

The boy’s mother, Tia Stovall, came to WSMV4 Investigates last year to express her anger that while the student who recorded the video was briefly punished at school, she could not prosecute criminally.

The state law read that to convict someone of unlawful photography, you have to prove the recording would embarrass the victim and the person recording it got sexual gratification from it.

In this case, the second part of the law didn’t apply.

“I was incensed as any mother would be,” state Rep. Iris Rudder, R-Winchester, said.

Rudder spoke with Stovall and successfully passed a revision of the law, reading that if you record the unclothed intimate area of a person without their knowledge in order to offend, intimidate, embarrass, ridicule or harass that person, you can now be charged with a Class B misdemeanor.

“Now when you do that, young people or anyone, there is a recourse through the court system, not a slap on the hand,” Rudder said.

A boy’s trauma prompting punishment for anyone who would use social media to hurt others.

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