Written by attorney Jeremy S Geigle

Juvenile Sexting a New Crime

New Sexting Bill Signed in Arizona Governor Brewer signed into law Senate Bill 1266 which makes sexting among juveniles a misdemeanor or petty offense depending on the circumstances. Juvenile sexting in Arizona is technically child pornography and can still be prosecuted as such. Child pornography has a mandatory minimum penalty of 10 years prison per image. This new sexting law, however, gives prosecutors a lessor offense to charge so that juveniles don't end up in prison and don't end up as registered sex-offenders for a practice that is unfortunately not uncommon among teenagers. What is Sexting? Sexting is defined as using a means of electronic communication to transmit a visual depiction of a minor that depicts explicit sexual material. It is a crime to both transmit or possess such material. The statute protects the juvenile who didn't solicit the transmission and reports it to a parent. If the visual depiction isn't broadly disseminated (displayed to more than one person) then the offense is a petty offense under the law. Again, it is important to remember that even though the sexting may be treated as a misdemeanor or petty offense under this new statute, sexting still constitutes child pornography and at the discretion of the prosecutor may be charged as a serious felony.

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