Under House Bill 75, a first offense for a teen who sends or receives nude images of a minor is punishable with eight hours of community service or a $60 fine. The second offense is a misdemeanor and the third is a felony. Teens who receive explicit images will not be charged if they take reasonable steps to report the sexting act, they do not solicit the image, and they do not forward it. Considering that the person sending these images is likely a girlfriend or boyfriend, I doubt many teens will turn each other in.
The law was sponsored in June by Democratic State Representative, Joseph Abruzzo, of Wellington.
"When our child pornography laws were written, they failed to take into account advances in technology, such as cell phones," Abruzzo said in a released statement. "(This bill) modernizes these laws to ensure that children's lives are not ruined due to youthful indiscretion. This reform will let our youth know that such behavior is wrong without labeling them sex offenders for the rest of their lives."
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