Child Pornography Statutes and New Legislation
Sexting and Youth, A Multidisciplinary Examination of Research, Theory, and Law, 2014, Carolina Academic Press ISBN 978-1-61163-386-3.
26 Pages Posted: 13 Dec 2016 Last revised: 15 Dec 2016
Date Written: May 19, 2014
Debate still exists whether criminalizing youth sexting is desirable. Opponents to criminalizing youth sexting argue that laws will be ineffective and are unnecessary and that children should not be penalized for bad judgment. Many legislators around the country do not agree and continue to propose new bills during their legislative sessions. These statutes are far from uniform. West Virginia passed the most recent bill creating a youth sexting education diversion program. In 2012, at least thirteen states proposed legislation dealing with youth sexting. Since 2009, nineteen states have passed some law specific to youth sexting. Similarly, prosecutors are not ignoring the issue and are using traditional child pornography statutes and the new statutes to bring actions against teenagers who sext. This chapter examines these statutes and prosecutions and offers drafting suggestions which will help better fulfill the goal of keeping children safe while not unduly punishing them for a youthful mistake.
Keywords: child pornography, sexting, youth education diversion program
JEL Classification: I10, I12, I18, K36, K42
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation