Texas Senate Votes For Teen Sexting Misdemeanor

AUSTIN (AP) – The Texas Senate has voted to allow prosecutors to charge teens 17 or younger with a misdemeanor, not a felony, if they are caught “sexting.”

Sexting is when a mobile phone is used, often by teenagers, to send sexually explicit images or messages.

Current law says anyone who transmits an explicit image of a teen can face felony charges of possessing or trafficking child pornography.

Sen. Kirk Watson of Austin says he doesn’t want teens to get labeled as sex offenders for the rest of their lives for doing something stupid. Watson’s bill creates different levels of misdemeanor charges for sexting.

The bill also has been endorsed by Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott.

(© Copyright 2011 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

  • http://fortworthinsight.com/news/texas-senate-votes-for-teen-sexting-misdemeanor/ Texas Senate Votes For Teen Sexting Misdemeanor « Fort Worth News Feeds

    […] Texas Senate Votes For Teen Sexting Misdemeanor The Texas Senate has voted to allow prosecutors to charge “sexting” teens with a misdemeanor. Go to News Source […]

  • fred

    you really think a teen is gonna stop doing this just because some one says you cannot do that? give me a break… might as well make it against the law to drink and smoke under the age of 18…,,,oh wait… it is… but they still do it… wake up old frumpy law makers

    • Jonny

      Aduits can’t murder too, but they do. Make the law allow murder? You make no sense.

  • janey

    let’s see what happens.. bet you that boys are the ones that will get slapped with most of the charges…

  • David

    Fred – that is the point of the law – teens are going to do it anyways so they shouldnt be counted as sex offenders for doing what teens do. Think outside the box a bit.

  • Duckman

    Interesting. You have one that says “teens will do it anyway”, which is a general statement and does not address how many MORE teens would have done it if they were not aware of the law and the punishment.
    Then you have one that thinks it is the boys who will get the most charges; however the law refers to those transmitting the images, which is likely the girl who, either seeking to do so or is sought by the intended boy to do so, initially sends the pics. In that case, the boy only needs to make sure he is not forwarding it on to others. It still looks to me that the girl holds all the cards here, much like most things having to do with sex.

  • Wayne

    Let Me Understand this… It is against the law to send these messages and instead of enforcing the law as it is written we are looking at making is a lesser charge and let teenagers off… And everyone wonders why things are getting out of hand….

  • Biz

    So Wayne,, you feel that it is appropriate to charge a teenager with a felony and brand them as a sex offender for the rest of their life, just for sending out a nude picture of themselves to a boyfriend/girlfriend? Do you realize what life is like for a registered sex offender?

    It’s a good thing for you being a complete moron isn’t a felony.

  • Mr. Very Concern

    Are u serious!!!!! We have enough going on in the Texas. Teachers losing there jobs and companies are down sizing. We need to find a way to get Rick Perry out of office.

  • http://frontburner.dmagazine.com/2011/04/15/senate-bill-says-underage-sexting-should-not-be-a-felony/ Senate Bill Says Underage Sexting Should Not be a Felony | FrontBurner

    […] proposal, which has passed the Texas State Senate, allows those 17 or younger to be charged with a misdemeanor for sending sexually suggestive images […]

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