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Rep. Katie Hill is a case study for enforcing California’s Revenge Porn Law

Orange County GOP consultant Kathy Tavoularis has been tweeting about Rep. Katie Hill, a freshman Democrat Congressional Representative from Santa Clarita, who’s involved in some sort of sex scandal with some questionable partially clad photos leaked to a UK publication.  Tavoularis is retweeting all sorts of outraged Republicans commenting on shocking naked photos of Hill with a Nazi tattoo smoking a bong and in a three way relationship with another woman.

The hypocrisy smells like reeking garbage.

Here’s what Republicans can’t fathom.  Hill is one of the first openly bi-sexual members of Congress.  She and her husband were involved in a consensual relationship with another woman (who apparently was a former Campaign staffer) and that Hill’s soon-to-be-ex husband may have violated California’s Revenge Porn Law.

Did any of these hypocrites cry out when candidate Donald Trump bragged about grabbing pussy, forcing himself on women (Tic Tacs at the ready), or walking into a dressing room with underage girls competing in a beauty contest, or allegedly rawdogging a porn star while his third wife was home with a newborn baby, or partying with the late Jeffrey Epstein?  Nah.

The Hill reports that new documents shed light on a alledged assault by Trump against a former Apprentice contestant.   Any comment there?  Nope.

Back to Katie Hill.

She isn’t the first woman to be accused of having an inappropriate relationship, but her sexuality does play into the changing moral outrage conservatives have when it comes to gender and sexual orientation.  Hill admits to a consensual sexual relationship with a campaign staffer. She has denied having a relationship with a Congressional staffers and there’s an Ethics Committee investigation underway.

Hill beat Republican incumbent Steve Knight as part of California’s Blue Wave in 2018 and represents California’s 25th Congressional District (parts of LA and Ventura counties). She also serves in a major House leadership role.

The private photos of her circulating in British newspapers will test California’s laws on Revenge Porn (sorry I’m not posting those).  The source of the photos is not identified and Hill’s estranged husband was identified as a source of text messages that are adding fuel to the fire.

Hill released a statement to her constituents Wednesday night:

“During the final tumultuous years of my abusive marriage, I became involved in a relationship with someone on my campaign. I know that even a consensual relationship with a subordinate is inappropriate, but I still allowed it to happen despite my better judgment. For that I apologize. I wish nothing but the best for her and hope everyone respects her privacy in this difficult time.”

“But the truth is, distributing intimate photos with the intent to publish them is a crime, and the perpetrator should be punished to the full extent of the law. I have notified Capitol Police, who are investigating it, and therefore will have no further comment on the matter.
“I am going through a divorce from an abusive husband who seems determined to try to humiliate me. I am disgusted that my opponents would seek to exploit such a private matter for political gain. This coordinated effort to try to destroy me and the people close to me is despicable and will not succeed. I, like many women who have faced attacks like this before, am stronger than those who want me to be afraid.”

The LA Times has a terrific editorial about how these charges against Hill may backfire into a charge of revenge porn by certain Republican operatives and if wouldn’t surprise me if Hill’s ex-husband was also charged (only so many people could have the original source material after all).

From the editorial:

Not only are the pictures uncomfortably intimate, they may be a criminal invasion of privacy under the “revenge porn” laws in California and the District of Columbia. California’s newly strengthened laws make it a civil crime to disseminate sexually explicit photos of someone else without their consent and with the intent to do them harm. The law does define criminal photos as exposing specific body parts or including a sex act. It’s not clear if the black box hiding Hill’s nipple or the scribbled lines covering her groin area are enough to offer a defense from the law.

D.C.’s “revenge porn” law has a similar requirement, raising the alarming prospect that the distribution and publication of the images may not violate the law because of the way they were lightly edited, regardless of whether they were intended to humiliate Hill.

When our friends on the Right hold their own accountable as well, they have a argument.  They never do.

In the 1980s, Massachusetts Congressional Reps Gerry Studds and Barney Frank — both openly gay members of the House — had their own individual scandals and survived and thrived.  I suspect Hill will as well.  But her case should mark the first high profile application of California and Washington DC’s Revenge Porn law.  And someone ought to go to jail for it.

 

 

3 Comments

  1. plz remove picture plz remove picture October 28, 2019

    Agree with everything you write, but did you really need to post this picture of Katie and the staffer? It serves no purpose but to further dox her if people recognize her, and it’s not difficult to discover which websites are posting the NSFW pictures because you’ve linked this picture.

    Would highly recommend you remove it, thanks.

  2. mikem128 mikem128 November 2, 2019

    In the real world where real people work for a living you would be looking for a new job. Having sex with the people that work for you is going to get you fired. Volunteer or paid, it is still the same thing. In the #MeToo world this is not acceptable. Does not matter if Gay, straight, Democrat or Republican. It sets a bad example of what the right thing to do in the work place is.

  3. Dan Chmielewski Dan Chmielewski November 4, 2019

    Hey Mike, ask Duncan Hunter why he hasn’t resigned from Congress yet? Used campaign cash to fund extra martial affairs after all, right?

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