UTICA, N.Y. (WUTR) — Assemblywoman Marianne Buttenschon (D-Utica/Rome) announced that legislation she sponsored to establish criminal and civil penalties for unlawfully disseminating a personal image passed the Assembly (A.1121).
The bill did not make it through the Senate by the time New York’s legislative session ended on Thursday. Buttenschon and the Devins family had hoped it would advance.
Buttenschon crafted the legislation following the tragic murder of Utica resident Bianca Michelle Devin in 2019. The 17-year-old was murdered after attending a concert with her attacker, who then posted photos of her body on social media. These photos were widely shared across multiple social media platforms.
“It’s the steps of passing in the Senate and the Assembly. Clearly, the governor would have to sign this legislation and move forward. this is a starting point,” Buttenschon said. “We still have to work with our federal officials to ensure that this is passed on the federal level. As we know, many of these social media platforms work throughout the world so we want to make sure that we’re continuing with this step.”
“To those people that have the empty hearts that take these photos put them out on social media. For people to see for their own evil purposes. We want them to be held accountable,” said Frank Williams, the grandfather of slain Bianca Devins.