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Sexting Legislation 2012

2012 Sexting Legislation

Year-end summary, Dec. 14, 2012

In 2012, at least 13 states introduced bills or resolutions aimed at "sexting"—where minors send sexually explicit or nude or semi-nude photos by cell phone. Four states--Hawaii, New York, Pennsylvania and South Dakota--enacted legislation in 2012.

Since 2009, when NCSL began tracking sexting legislation, at least 20 states and Guam have enacted bills to address youth sexting. See also 2011 Sexting Legislation2010 Sexting Legislation2009 Sexting Legislation, NCSL LegisBrief: The Vexing Problem of Sexting.

CALIFORNIA
A.B. 321
Status: 2/1/2012-- Failed.
Authorizes the court, if sexually explicit matter was in the possession of a minor, to order the minor to pay a fine not to exceed $ 1,000, and to undergo counseling, with the cost of counseling to be borne by the minor's parents. Makes legislative findings and declarations regarding the problems associated with sexting.

A.B. 1043
Status: 2/1/2012--Failed.
Extends the Juvenile Court's jurisdiction to also include minors who engaged in sexting images of themselves or other minors. Requires a court to order a minor who engaged in sexting to perform 24 to 40 hours of community service.

S.B. 916
Status: 1/31/2012--Failed.
Expresses the intent of the Legislature to enact legislation to address the activity commonly referred to as "sexting" as it pertains to minors.

S.B. 919
Status: 8/25/2011--In Assembly Committee on Appropriations: Held in committee. /  Failed - adjourned.
Amends provisions of the Interagency School Safety Demonstration Act relating to the School/Law Enforcement Partnership. Defines sexting for purposes of that act as the sending or receiving of sexually explicit pictures or video images by means of an electronic act. Requires the partnership's school safety programs to reduce sexting. Includes engaging in an act of sexting directed specifically toward a pupil or school personnel as an act for which a pupil may be suspended or expelled from school.

HAWAII 
H.B. 573
Status: 1/26/12; In committee: Measure deferred / Failed - regular session adjourned.
Creates the misdemeanor offense of a minor electronically communicating indecent material. Creates the offense of possession of indecent material electronically communicated by a minor, which is a misdemeanor if committed by a minor and a class C felony if committed by an adult.

S.B. 51
Status: 1/21/12; To Senate Committee on Economic Development and Technology / Failed - regular session adjourned.
Creates the misdemeanor offense of a minor electronically communicating indecent material. Creates the offense of possession of indecent material electronically communicated by a minor, which is a misdemeanor if committed by a minor and a class C felony if committed by an adult.

Status: S.B. 2222
Status: 7/3/2012; Signed by Governor, Act 213
Prohibits adults from soliciting minors to electronically transmit nude images of minors; prohibits minors from electronically transmitting nude images of themselves or other minors, or soliciting other minors to do so; prohibits persons from possessing a nude image transmitted by a minor, but makes it an affirmative defense that the recipient made reasonable efforts to destroy the transmitted nude image.


KANSAS
H.B. 2467
Status: 1/18/2012; To House Committee on Corrections and Juvenile Justice / Failed - regular session adjourned.
Creates the crimes of unlawful dissemination and possession of a depiction of a minor.
 
NEW HAMPSHIRE
H.B. 1562
Status: 3/15/2012; Failed to pass House.
Establishes a criminal penalty for sending or receiving sexually explicit text messages or images by using a cell phone or other mobile device.

NEW JERSEY
A.B. 1160
Status: 1/10/2012; To Assembly Committee on Education.
Requires school districts to disseminate annually information to studens and parents of guardians on the dangers of distributing sexually explicit images through electronic means.

A.B. 1161
Status: 1/10/2012; To Assembly Committee on Consumer Affairs.
Prohibits retail stores from selling cellular telephone equipment or cellular telephone equipment service contracts unless stores provide information brochures about sexting to customers who purchase such equipment or contracts.

S.B. 1391
Status: 2/6/2012; To Senate Committee on Commerce.
Prohibits retail stores from selling cellular telephone equipment or cellular telephone equipment service contracts unless stores provide information brochures about "sexting" to customers who purchase such equipment or contracts.

S.B. 1542
Status: 2/9/2012; To Senate Committee on Education.
Requires school districts to annually disseminate information to students and parents or guardians on the dangers of distributing sexually explicit images through electronic means.

NEW YORK
A.B. 8131
Status: 6/2/2011; To Assembly Committee on Governmental Operations.
Directs the attorney general to establish a 2 year juvenile sexting and cyberbullying education demonstration program in not less than 3 counties as a diversionary program for persons under 16 who have engaged in cyberbullying or sexting, in lieu of juvenile delinquency or criminal proceedings.

S.B. 3439
Status: 1/4/2012; To Senate Committee on Children and Families.
Relates to educating children on the harms of electronically sending and posting certain images of themselves.

S.B. 6255
Status: 03/30/2012; Signed by Governor. Chapter 55
Provides that a court may, as a condition of an adjournment in contemplation of a dismissal order, in cases where the record indicates that cyberbullying or sexting was the basis of the petition, require an eligible person to complete an education reform program in accordance with section four hundred fifty-eight-l of the social services law.

OHIO
H.B. 53
Status: 2/1/2011; To House Committee on Criminal Justice.
Prohibits a minor, by use of a telecommunications device or other means, from knowingly creating, receiving, exchanging, sending, or possessing a photograph or other material showing a minor in a state of nudity.

H.B. 80
Status: 2/3/2011; To House Committee on Criminal Justice.
Prohibits a minor, by use of a telecommunications device, from knowingly sharing, exchanging, sending, or posting a photograph, video, or other material that shows a minor in a state of nudity; Defines a state of nudity for purposes of this prohibition; limits the offense of illegal use of a minor in a nudity-oriented material or performance to acts committed by persons 18 years of age or older.

OKLAHOMA
H.B. 2006
Status: 2/8/2011; To House Committee on Rules / Failed--Regular session adjourned.
Relates to crimes and punishments; relates to solicitation of sexual conduct or communication with a minor by use of technology; includes description of text messages with certain sexual content; modifies penalty for consensual text messages between certain persons; specifies penalty for certain persons; declares an emergency.

PENNSYLVANIA
H.B. 815
Status: 10/25/2012; Signed by Governor. Act No. 198
Amends the Crimes and Offenses Code; further provides for the offense of sexual abuse of children; defines the offense of sexting by minors.

S.B. 850
Status: 10/25/2012 Signed by Governor. Act No. 204 (sexting provisions amended out of enacted version)
Amends the Crimes and Offenses Code and the Judiciary and Judicial Procedure Code; provides for the offense of cyberbullying and sexting by minors in criminal history record information; further provides for expungement and for juvenile records in relation to summary offenses, further providing for short title and purpose of chapter, for the scope of the Juvenile Act, for inspection of court files and records, for conduct of hearings and for right to counsel.

RHODE ISLAND
H.B. 5808
Status: 4/6/2011; In House Committee on Judiciary: Committee recommends measure to be held for further study. Failed - adjourned. 
Would create various criminal offenses relating to Internet activity. This act would take effect upon passage.

H.B. 7042
Status: 2/8/2012; In House Committee on Judiciary: Committee recommends measure to be held for further study. Failed - adjourned. 
Amends various chapters and provisions of the general laws to create to additional offenses relating to Internet activity that includes electronically disseminating indecent material to minors, sexting, unauthorized access to confidential information, cyberstalking and cyberharassment, and online impersonation; provides felony penalties for violations.

SOUTH CAROLINA
H.B. 3130
Status: 5/30/2012; From Senate Committee on Judiciary: Reported favorably with amendment. / Failed - adjourned.
Creates the offense of sexting; provides for a civil fine and an educational program for a person who commits the offense, provides for the restriction of a minor's driving privileges under certain circumstances, provides certain safeguards for minors who commit the offense, and provides for the use of the uniform traffic ticket for the offense and for jurisdiction over the offense in the municipal or magistrates court.

 S.B. 296
Status: 1/11/2011; To Senate Committee on Judiciary. / Failed - adjourned.
Creates the offense of sexting; provides for a civil fine and an educational program for a person who commits the offense, provides for the restriction of a minor's driving privileges under certain circumstances, provides certain safeguards for minors who commit the offense, and provides for the use of the uniform traffic ticket for the offense and for jurisdiction over the offense in the municipal or magistrates court. 

SOUTH DAKOTA
S.B. 183
Status: 2/22/2012; Signed by Governor. Chapter 148.
Establishes the elements of the offense of juvenile sexting and provides a penalty.

WEST VIRGINIA
H.B. 4483
2/10/2012; To House Committee on Judiciary /  Failed--regular session adjourned.
Relates to sexting by minors; requires the Attorney General to develop an educational diversion program; provides rule-making authority; provides criteria to be used by prosecuting attorney for admittance into program; requires individual prosecuting attorneys to operate program; requires the West Virginia Prosecuting Attorneys Institute to oversee the administrative procedures for the program; and creates the opportunity to avoid prosecution for completion of the educational diversion program. 


*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.


 NCSL Contact: 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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