New Sexting Law Aims at Giving Teens a Second Chance

Crime, Law and JusticeCrimeTom CorbettSeth M. Grove

It happens all too often and it's getting the attention of parents and lawmakers. A sexually explicit picture a teenager takes on their cellphone ends up on the internet for all to see. But, a proposed law would give teens a second chance if they do make that mistake. It creates a multi - tiered penalty system if teenagers are caught.

The bill, would make it illegal for minors to send and view sexually explicit messages. Currently, sexting is considered child porn, and is therefore a felony. But under the new law it would make it a summary offense if kids consensually exchange the photo. If a person passes it along to someone else or uses it to harass others , the penalties stiffen to a misdemeanor.

" A sexting event is charged as a felony, at that time it's just sexting. But when you're 30 or 40 and you're trying to get a job and you have to put on your application a child pornography charge, what's the likelihood of you getting that job,"? says Rep. Seth Grove (R), 196th District

Some people we spoke with though, think the law should stay as it is.

" They need to leaner and you have got to learn the hard way if you're going to do something as stupid as that, even as an adult, you should know better," says Mairana Neidert of New Cumberland

But others think it is a good thing to give teens another chance after they make a big mistake.

"For kids it's experimental for them so they don't know what it's all about yet until they start it how bad of a thing it really is, they'll learn quickly," says Jimmy Lawrence of Harrisburg

Governor Tom Corbett has ten days to sign the bill into law.

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