Thursday, July 31, 2014

ACLU of Virginia: There Ought to be a Law Against Sexting

I understand not wanting to create new crimes of Teen Sexting in the VA Code (see editorial below) BUT the problem is the wording in the code for child pornography production, dissemination and viewing/possession includes Teen Sexting, like it or not. 

My suggestion: 

What if at the next G.A. session (January 2015) there is a proposal to the various Child Pornography statutes to add a line excluding Teen-to-Teen “Sexting”? This way over zealous Commonwealth Attorney’s and Magistrates don’t overstep in this area. 

Such a disclaimer/exclusion in code should have an age gap allowance (4 years) for age appropriate relationships.

This would stop any stubborn House or Senate members who have fought past Sexting proposals based on the claim it would open the door for 50 year old perverts to take advantage of our children. 

AND some how we need to include the 18 and 19 year olds. I know they are adults in the eyes of the law but it is completely appropriate for an 18 year old to date a 16 year old and a 19 year old to date a 17 year old. If the 18 and 19 year olds have not threatened, forced or intimidated the younger person, if they have not extorted them and if they have not forwarded the image on to others or posted it on the Internet then they should not face felony child pornography charges either. One other point to consider is the now 18 or 19 year old may have sent or received the images when they were minors but when the images are finally discovered months or years later they are legal adults, the time in which the images were sent or received should be the time considered by the state.