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HB17-1302

Juvenile Sexting Crime

Concerning matters related to sexually explicit images of a juvenile, and, in connection therewith, requiring a post-enactment review of the implementation of this act.
Session:
2017 Regular Session
Subject:
Crimes, Corrections, & Enforcement

The bill creates the criminal offense of posting a private image by a juvenile. The offense can be committed in 2 ways. The first way is if a juvenile, through digital or electronic means, knowingly distributes, displays, or publishes to the view of another person a sexually explicit image of a person other than himself or herself who is at least 14 years of age or is less than 4 years younger than the juvenile:

  • Without the depicted person's permission; or
  • When the recipient did not solicit or request to be supplied with the image and suffered emotional distress; or
  • When the juvenile knew or should have known that the depicted person had a reasonable expectation that the image would remain private.

The second way is if the juvenile knowingly distributes, displays, or publishes, to the view of another person who is at least 14 years of age or is less than 4 years younger than the juvenile, a sexually explicit image of himself or herself when the recipient did not solicit or request to be supplied with the image and suffered emotional distress. The offense is a class 2 misdemeanor; except that it is a class 1 misdemeanor if:

  • The juvenile committed the offense with the intent to coerce, intimidate, threaten, or otherwise cause emotional distress to the depicted person; or
  • The juvenile had previously posted a private image and completed a diversion program or education program for the act pursuant to the provisions of the bill or had a prior adjudication for posting a private image by a juvenile; or
  • The juvenile distributed, displayed, or published 3 or more images that depicted 3 or more separate and distinct persons.

The bill creates the criminal offense of possessing a private image by a juvenile that prohibits a juvenile, through digital or electronic means, from knowingly possessing a sexually explicit image of another person who is at least 14 years of age or is less than 4 years younger than the juvenile without the depicted person's permission. It is not an offense if the juvenile:

  • Took reasonable steps to either destroy or delete the image within 72 hours after initially viewing the image; or
  • Reported the initial viewing of such image to law enforcement or a school resource officer within 72 hours after initially viewing the image.

The offense is a petty offense; except that it is a class 2 misdemeanor if the unsolicited possessor of the image possessed 10 or more separate images that depicted 3 or more separate and distinct persons.

The bill creates a civil infraction of exchange of a private image by a juvenile if a juvenile, through digital or electronic means:

  • Knowingly sends a sexually explicit image or images of himself or herself to another person who is at least 14 years of age or is less than 4 years younger than the juvenile, and the image or images depict only the sender and no other person and the sender reasonably believed that the recipient had solicited or otherwise agreed to the transmittal of the image or images; or
  • Knowingly possesses a sexually explicit image or images of another person who is at least 14 years of age or is less than 4 years younger than the juvenile, and the image or images depict only the sender and no other person and the juvenile reasonably believed that the depicted person had transmitted the image or images or otherwise agreed to the transmittal of the image or images.

The civil infraction can be punished by participation in a program designed by the school safety resource center or other appropriate program addressing the risks and consequences of exchanging a sexually explicit image of a juvenile or a fine of up to $50, which may be waived by the court upon a showing of indigency.

If a juvenile's conduct is limited to the elements of the petty offense of possession of a private image by a juvenile or limited to the elements of the civil infraction of exchange of a private image by a juvenile, then the juvenile cannot be charged with sexual exploitation of a child. If a juvenile is charged with posting a private image by a juvenile, he or she cannot be charged with sexual exploitation of a child. The bill allows a juvenile to petition the court to not impose sex offender registration if he or she is charged with sexual exploitation of a child and the juvenile's conduct satisfies posting a private image by a juvenile or possession of a private image by a juvenile. It is an affirmative defense to the two criminal offenses and the civil infraction if a juvenile is coerced, threatened, or intimated into distributing, displaying, publishing, possessing, or exchanging a sexually explicit image of a person under 18 years of age. The court must order the records of any of the 2 criminal offenses or civil infraction expunged within 42 days of completion of the sentence or program.

The bill requires the school safety resource center to make available a sexting curriculum for school districts to use.


(Note: This summary applies to the reengrossed version of this bill as introduced in the second house.)

Status

Introduced
Passed
Became Law

Bill Text