Legal Information: Tennessee

Statutes: Tennessee

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Updated: 
November 5, 2021

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 guardian, if the photograph:

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

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

(2) Was taken for the purpose of sexual arousal or gratification of the defendant.

(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 violation of this section is a Class A misdemeanor.

(2) A violation of this section 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 this section 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 in violation of privacy, 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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