Prosecutors Struggle with Sexting Laws

Prosecutors Struggle with Sexting Laws

Written on March 18th, 2016 in Stories by Anthony Spencer

Smartphones has allowed greater access to pornography than ever before. Some estimates say that 1 out of every 5 web searches on mobile are for porn. More disturbing is the ability for individuals to make pornographic material with great ease with the use of a smartphone. The phenomenon known as “sexting” where individuals share erotic chats and pornographic pictures with each other is common. While such things between consenting adults is one thing, it is happening often between teenagers as well.

This has put lawmakers in a bind. By law, if two teens are caught sexting with one another they could both be charged with child pornography charges. These charges could follow them for the rest of their lives. But prosecutors say that a middle ground needs to be forged between looking the other way and slapping sex-curious teens with some of the harshest punishments on the books. So far, at least 20 states have or are considering sexting laws that have lesser penalties. Depending on the state, sexting can be a misdemeanor, and punishments can be as light as requiring a class on the dangers of social media.

Two states are considering whether sexting should be a crime at all. New Mexico has removed criminal penalties for sexting, but Colorado is strongly divided on the issue. Colorado was forced to confront the issue when a high school found that over 100 students had sexually explicit images of other teens, leading to dozens of suspensions. However, prosecutors did not file criminal charges since Colorado law doesn’t distinguish between adult sexual predators and sex-curious teenagers.

While the laws may vary across the country, as a parent you have the power to head this off if it concerns you. Web and mobile filtering software like X3Watch can prevent sexually explicit pictures and text from reaching your children through their mobile connections. For more information, read through our website to learn the features and how you can stop porn addiction before it starts.