Legal Information: Tennessee

Statutes: Tennessee

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Updated: 
November 27, 2023

39-13-605. Photographs; dissemination

(a) It is an offense for a person to knowingly photograph, or cause to be photographed, an individual without the prior effective consent of the individual, or in the case of a minor, without the prior effective consent of the minor’s parent or legal guardian, if the photograph:

(1)(A)(i) Would offend or embarrass an ordinary person if the person appeared in the photograph; or

(ii) Is focused on the intimate area of the individual and would be considered offensive or embarrassing by the individual; and

(B) Was taken for the purpose of sexual arousal or gratification of the defendant; or

(2)(A) Includes the unclothed intimate area of the individual and would be considered offensive or embarrassing by the individual;

(B) Was taken for the purpose of offending, intimidating, embarrassing, ridiculing, or harassing the victim; and

(C) Was disseminated by the defendant, the defendant threatened to disseminate the photograph, or the defendant permitted the dissemination of the photograph, to another person.

(b) As used in this section:

(1) “Photograph” means any photograph or photographic reproduction, whether taken using digital media or conventional film, still or moving, or any videotape, live television transmission, or social media broadcast of any individual; and

(2) “Intimate area” means the naked or clothed genitals, pubic area, anus, buttocks, or female breast of a person.

(c) All photographs taken in violation of this section shall be confiscated and, after their use as evidence, destroyed.

(d)(1)(A) A violation of subdivision (a)(1) is a Class A misdemeanor.

(B) A first violation of subdivision (a)(2) is a Class B misdemeanor. A second or subsequent violation of subdivision (a)(2) is a Class A misdemeanor.

(2) A violation of subdivision (a)(1) is a Class E felony if:

(A) The defendant disseminates or permits the dissemination of the photograph to any other person; or

(B) The victim of the offense is under thirteen (13) years of age at the time of the offense.

(3) A violation of subdivision (a)(1) is a Class D felony if:

(A) The defendant disseminates or permits the dissemination of the photograph to any other person; and

(B) The victim of the offense is under thirteen (13) years of age at the time of the offense.

(e) Nothing in this section shall preclude the state from electing to prosecute conduct in violation of this section under any other applicable section, including chapter 17, parts 9 and 10 of this title.

(f) In addition to the punishment provided for a person who commits the misdemeanor unlawful photographing pursuant to subdivision (a)(1), the trial judge may order, after taking into account the facts and circumstances surrounding the offense, including the offense for which the person was originally charged and whether the conviction was the result of a plea bargain agreement, that the person be required to register as a sexual offender pursuant to the Tennessee Sexual Offender and Violent Sexual Offender Registration, Verification and Tracking Act of 2004, compiled in title 40, chapter 39, part 2.

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