Sexting and the Law

From Sexting to Prison

In Today’s society cell phones play a major part in everyday life. Cell phones create an efficient world for all of us, but it can also create another world for criminality. This criminality can be in the form of texting while using sexual images or videos known as “sexting”. Sexting can have major ramifications for teenagers. Sending nude photos or even semi nude photos of minors constitutes as child pornography and teens do not realize posting illicit pictures on social networking sites such as Facebook or Myspace, and showing it to friends, or simply sending it or storing it electronically can bring forth a felony charge. The Federal Government is very stern on what the definition of child pornography is. Basically any drawing, picture, image or video depicting a minor in a sexually explicit manner is child pornography. This means that if an individual is caught “sexting” a picture of a minor, they can be put in prison and be labeled as a sex offender for life.

It is important to understand that the federal government can charge an individual with child pornography and states can have separate laws to charge an Individual sexting. There are currently new legislatures introduced in twenty-one different states. These states are reviewing current laws and punishments and possibly revise laws already in place towards electronic pornography. Nine states have already enacted legislation towards sexting, most states tend to follow suit shortly after. These states are as follows:

ALASKA
H.B. 127
Status: 6/23/2011, Signed by Governor, but sexting provisions were amended out of enacted version.
Relates to the crimes of stalking, online enticement of a minor, unlawful exploitation of a minor, endangering the welfare of a child, sending an explicit image of a minor, harassment, distribution of indecent material to minors, and misconduct involving confidential information.

FLORIDA

H.B. 75
Status: 6/21/11, Signed by Governor. Chapter 2011-180.
Provides that minor commits offense of sexting if he or she knowingly uses computer or other device to transmit or distribute photograph or video of himself or herself which depicts nudity and is harmful to minors, or knowingly possesses such photograph or video that was transmitted or distributed to minor from another minor; provides that transmission or distribution of multiple photographs or videos is single offense if such photographs and videos were transmitted or distributed in same 24-hour period; provides that possession of multiple photographs or videos that were transmitted or distributed by minor is single offense if such photographs and videos were transmitted or distributed by minor in same 24-hour period; provides that act does not prohibit prosecution of minor for conduct relating to material that includes depiction of sexual conduct or sexual excitement or for stalking.

IOWA
D.1251
Relates to child pornography and sexting.

NEVADA
S. B. 277
Status: 6/3/11, Signed by Governor, Chapter 245
Revises provisions governing certain acts by juveniles relating to the possession, transmission and distribution of certain sexual images.

NORTH DAKOTA
H.B. 1372
Status: 3/21/2011, Signed by Governor. Chapter 99.
Relates to the creation, possession, or dissemination of sexually expressive images.

RHODE ISLAND
H.B. 5094
Status: 7/12/2011. Signed by Governor, Public Law 2011-270.
Prohibits the use of a computer or other telecommunication device to transmit an indecent visual depiction of himself or herself to another person, which is commonly known as sexting, by minors; provides that any violation of this act is deemed to be a status offense and shall be referred to the family court. This act would take effect upon passage.

S.B. 733
Status: 7/12/2011. Signed by Governor, Public Law 2011-295.
Would create various criminal offenses relating to Internet activity. This act would take effect upon passage.

SOUTH DAKOTA
S.B. 179
Defines and prohibits the offenses of juvenile sexting and aggravated juvenile sexting and provides for certain sanctions and remedies.

TEXAS
S.B. 407
Status: 6/17/11, Signed by Governor
Relates to the creation of the offense of electronic transmission of certain visual material depicting a minor and to certain educational programs concerning the prevention and awareness of that offense.

GUAM
Bill No. 41-31 (COR)
Status: March 8, 2011, Signed by Governor
Relates to bullying, cyberbullying and sexting.

*State Legislature information was retrieved from www.ncsl.org and should not be mistaken as legal advice*

By Alan J. Stevenson, Veteran, Criminal Justice/Information Security and Assurance Student

Oct 31 2017 in Uncategorized admin Comments Off on Sexting and the Law

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