Lawmakers approve bill to lessen sexting charges

Posted at 4:13 PM, Mar 03, 2016
and last updated 2016-03-03 19:20:52-05

BOISE, Idaho (AP) -- An Idaho legislative panel on Thursday approved a bill to lessen charges for minors who share sexually explicit material via text message or social media.

House Bill 555 addresses so-called sexting between minors and would make most sexting between minors a misdemeanor offense.

Under the new statute, a minor who mass distributes the content would be charged with a felony only after a second offense.

Republican Rep. Greg Chaney, of Caldwell, says currently a teenager who engages in sexting could be charged under the child pornography statute and labeled a felony sex offender.

He says the new measure draws a line between youthful indiscretion and evil intent, while protecting victims from pornographic extortion.

The bill now goes to the House floor.