Arizona Capitol

"Sexting" Bill Delayed in Arizona House Committee

Voting on a bill that would limit the punishment for teen "sexters" was delayed in the Arizona House today because lawmakers don't think the bill is the right fix for the growing problem.

For anyone unfamiliar with "sexting," it's basically when someone uses a cell phone or computer to send another person nude pictures of themself -- a seemingly victimless crime, but when kiddies are doing it, parents tend to go berserk.

At the moment, a minor arrested for "sexting" another minor could face felony charges of sexual exploitation of a minor, and, if convicted, could face some serious jail time and have to register as a sex-offender for life.

Labeling a kid a pederass for getting a little frisky with his or her cell phone seems a little steep, and the Arizona Prosecuting Attorneys' Advisory Council ( which includes representatives from the state's county attorneys, attorney general, and municipal prosecutors) apparently agrees and is backing the measure.

The new bill,already passed by the House, changes the charge for such an offense to a misdemeanor, with the maximum penalty being four months in jail. Alternative punishments, such as probation or diversion programs, would also be an option.

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James King
Contact: James King