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2013 Sexting Legislation

Sexting Legislation in 2013

10/30/2013

In 2013, at least nine states introduced bills or resolutions aimed at "sexting"—where minors send sexually explicit or nude or semi-nude photos by cell phone. At least three states—Arkansas, Georgia and West Virginia—enacted legislation in 2013.

Since 2009, when NCSL began tracking sexting legislation, at least 20 states and Guam have enacted bills to address youth sexting. See also 2012 Sexting Legislation, 2011 Sexting Legislation, 2010 Sexting Legislation, 2009 Sexting Legislation, NCSL LegisBrief: The Vexing Problem of Sexting.
 

ARKANSAS
S.B. 829
Status: 04/11/2013     Act No. 1086
Implements changes recommended by the task force for abused and neglected children; clarifies who is a mandated reporter; clarifies criminal statutes concerning sexual assault, children engaged in sexually explicit conduct for use in visual or print medium, and the possession of sexually explicit digital material; modifies the requirements for a child abuse prevention curriculum; makes changes to the child maltreatment act, including the unlawful restriction of child abuse reporting and mandated reporters.
 

GEORGIA
H.B. 156
Status:  05/06/2013    Act No. 206
Makes it a misdemeanor for someone at least 14 years old willingly to send a sexually explicit photo to someone 18 years old  or younger, if the purpose of distributing it was not for harassing, intimidating, or embarrassing the minor depicted, or any commercial purpose.
 

INDIANA
S.B. 256
Status: 01/08/2013     To Senate Committee on Corrections and Criminal Law.
Relates to crimes involving indecent images of children; makes producing, exhibiting, or possessing certain indecent images of a child at least 12 years of age by a person less than 22 years of age indecent display by a youth, a Class B misdemeanor, if the images are produced, exhibited, or possessed on a cellular telephone or social media web site; provides that a person less than 22 years of age may not be charged with child exploitation.
 

MAINE
H.P. 454
Status:   07/09/2013   126th Legislature -- First Regular Session Adjourned - 07/10/13 - Carried Over to Next Session.
Proposes to prohibit sexually explicit text messaging, also known as sexting, by a minor in a manner different from the prohibition in current law; creates exceptions or other avenues in the law to discourage sexting by minors and provide educators and other adults with tools to prevent sexting and to punish minors short of treating them as sexual predators or serious criminals as current law does.
 

NEW YORK
A.B. 1203
Status: 01/09/2013     To Assembly Committee on Codes.
Relates to educating children on the harms of electronically sending and posting certain images of themselves.
 

S.B 463
Status: 01/09/2013     To Senate Committee on Children and Families.
Establishes an educational outreach program for text message, email and Internet posting awareness by providing for an ongoing public information and educational campaign about the harm that may rise from adolescents sending, receiving or posting on the Internet messages that may include, but are not limited to, provocative or nude images and photographs of themselves; provides various methods or strategies to be used for such promotion.
 

OREGON
S.B. 68
Status:  07/08/2013    In committee upon adjournment.
Eliminates mandatory minimum sentence for persons under 18 years of age convicted of committing crime of using a child in a display of sexually explicit conduct; authorizes sentencing court to enter order relieving person of obligation to report as sex offender; declares emergency, effective on passage.
 

RHODE ISLAND
H.B. 5570
Status: 03/27/2013     In House Committee on Judiciary: Committee recommends measure to be held for further study.
Prohibits a minor from being charged if  under “11-9-1.5 -Electronically disseminating indecent material to minors prohibited” if their behavior falls under 11-9-1.4.
 

S.B. 550
Status: 03/01/2013     Scheduled for hearing and/or consideration. (03/07/2013)
Prohibits a minor from being charged if  under “11-9-1.5 -Electronically disseminating indecent material to minors prohibited” if their behavior falls under 11-9-1.4.
 

SOUTH CAROLINA
S.B. 441
Status:  02/27/2013    To Senate Committee on Judiciary.
Creates the offense of sexting for a person less than eighteen years of age; provides for civil fines and costs for committing a first or second offense; provides for a misdemeanor and a criminal fine and costs for committing three or more offenses; prohibits the arrest or placement in the custody of the Department of Juvenile justice or other confinement for committing a first or second offense, with certain exceptions.
 

H.B. 3857
Status:  03/21/2013    To House Committee on Judiciary.
Creates the offense of sexting for a person less than 18 years of age; provides for civil fines and costs for committing a first or second offense; provides for a misdemeanor and a criminal fine and costs for committing three or more offenses; prohibits the arrest or placement in the custody of the Department of Juvenile justice or other confinement for committing a first or second offense, with certain exceptions.
 

WEST VIRGINIA
H.B. 2357
Status:  05/15/2013    Act No. 112
Proscribes juveniles from manufacturing, possessing and distributing nude images of minors; authorizes the development of a diversion program; provides for the participation in the diversion program as a part of a pre-petition diversion and informal resolution in advance of a filed petition, as part of a required counseling plan, or as part of an improvement period requirement; allows the court discretion as to whether a juvenile should be required to register as a sex offender.
 

PLEASE NOTE: The National Conference of State Legislatures serves state legislators and their staff. This site provides comparative information only and should not be construed as legal advice. NCSL cannot provide assistance with individual cases.
 

Compiled by Cassandra Kirsch.
 

NCSL contact for additional information: Pam Greenberg, NCSL Denver Office, 303-364-7700 ext. 1413. Please help us keep this page accurate and complete by sending information about additional bills to pam.greenberg@ncsl.org.

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