ACLU-PA Position: Opposes
HB 163 (PN 131) would enhance invasion of privacy from a misdemeanor of the third degree (6 months–1 year incarcerated; $2,500 in fines) to a felony of the third degree (3.5–7 years in prison; $15,000 in fines) for adults or teachers convicted of this offense where minors or students are the victims. A second or subsequent offense would be graded as a second-degree felony (5–10 years in prison; $25,000 in fines).
HB 163 not only expands the scope and penalties for invasion of privacy, it adds an alarming new element of the crime — criminalizing the receipt of illicit images or videos — that may invite unintended consequences for those charged under this offense. Furthermore, HB 163 includes a problematic defense provision that is unnecessary, changes/narrows the element of the crime, and shifts the burden of proof from the state to the defense, expecting the defense to prove a negative.