Florida senator, 37, who was extorted over nudes is introducing new law that makes creation of altered sexual images, known as deepfakes, a felony

  • Florida Senator Lauren Book, 37, introduced new legislation that would make stealing and distributing stolen sexual images a felony 
  • Book was targeted by such an extortionist  last year after a teen claiming to be in possession of her intimate photos demanded $5,000 to have them deleted
  • 'I hate that this happened to me,' she said. 'I hate it, I hate it, I hate it, I hate it, I hate it. But I´ll take it, because I know that I can do something about it'

😖😡😭

😖😡😭

A Florida senator whose nude photos were stolen and used in an attempted extortion is now working to improve the state's revenge porn rules by making it a felony to create and disseminate digitally altered, sexually explicit images.

Florida Senate Democratic Leader Lauren Book introduced new legislation Tuesday that would also criminalize theft of real images in cases where the person sought to distribute or benefit from them.

Book, 37, was victimized by such a scheme last year after a teen claiming to be in possession of her intimate photos demanded $5,000 to have them deleted. The 19-year-old blackmailer sent Book pictures of her exposed breasts and threatened to destroy her career by sending them out.  

Police later charged Jeremy Kamperveen with extortion and cyber stalking. It's not clear how the images were obtained, although Book had images of her and her husband on her phone, and said she shared a post-operation photo of her lumpectomy scar with a friend. 

'I hate that this happened to me,' Book said. 'I hate it, I hate it, I hate it, I hate it, I hate it. But I´ll take it, because I know that I can do something about it.'

Florida Senate Democratic Leader Lauren Book was threatened by an extortionist last year who told her he would publish pictures of her naked breasts unless she paid him $5,000

Florida teen Jeremy Kamperveen, 19, has been charged with extortion and cyber stalking after he threatened to leak the photos

The bill sponsored by Book got its first committee hearing Tuesday. 

It would strengthen Florida's revenge porn law by making it a felony to buy, sell or trade stolen sexually explicit images from someone's phone or other digital devices.

It would also make disseminating altered or created sexually explicit images, known as deepfakes, a felony.

The Senate Criminal Justice Committee unanimously approved the bill.

Hallandale Beach City Commissioner Sabrina Javellana thanked Book on Tuesday, saying she was the victim of a deepfake by someone who altered photos from her Instagram page as well as others on the internet.

'They looked very, very real as if they were nude pictures I had taken of myself,' Javellana said in a phone interview, adding that it triggered trauma from her past. 'I was raped my freshman year of college and it was like it was happening all over again.' 

She reported the online images to law enforcement, but investigators said they couldn't do anything because Florida law didn't address deepfake images. She said she's grateful Book is taking on the issue.

She's now working to pass legislation that would strengthen Florida's revenge porn law by making it a felony to buy, sell or trade stolen sexually explicit images from someone's phone or other digital devices

Book vented her anger in the phone interview with AP Monday night as she described the international trade and sale of images stolen from people without their knowledge.  

She cursed loudly at times, and sometimes choked back tears. She called it a sick, perverted subculture that pays more for images of celebrities and elected officials, but which also victimizes women who aren't well known.

'Truth be told, if it weren´t for my children, I would have ended my life,' she said. 'It brought up all of the stuff. All of it that you think that you´ve gotten under your belt, that you´ve fixed it and you´ve changed it and then all of a sudden here it is in front of your face.'

Book said the experience was so traumatic that she would have ended her life if not for her young children

She said the conversations people had on the website made the horror worse.

'They were reading about who I was and talking about how I´m a survivor of rape, so let´s try to get some rape videos. Can we get some of her getting raped, killed, tortured? Can we make some of that? Can we find it? How can we get it?' Book said.

She doesn't know how they were stolen, but said she had already deleted them before she found out they were on the internet, leading her to believe hackers took them from the cloud.

She said investigators told her the images the teenager used to try to extort her were sent from virtual private networks in Sweden and Russia.

She said she feels blessed to be in a position to fight back, with the resources to hire an attorney to have images removed from websites.

Still, while the abuse she suffered into her teenage years had a beginning and an end - the nanny was prosecuted and imprisoned - this case will go on forever.

'There are still things up there. Still. They´ll never be gone. People were buying it, people were trading it, and this is not unique,' she said. 'This is happening every single day, to women predominantly.'

Advertisement

Florida senator who was extorted over nude photos wants to strengthen state's revenge porn laws

  View all

😖😡😭 The comments below have been moderated in advance.

  View all

The views expressed in the contents above are those of our users and do not necessarily reflect the views of MailOnline.

We are no longer accepting comments on this article.