Colorado Bans Underage Sexting

GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. - A new law could land your children into some legal trouble if they're caught sending explicit photos through their phones or over the internet --also known as sexting.

If a juvenile is sending or publishing sexually explicit photos of another person or of themselves it is now considered a crime.

Chief Deputy District Attorney, Mark Hand said, "You can be sentenced from 3 months to 12 months in DUIC if you're convicted of that case, of that count."

The law is designed to try to address the issue with the Class 3 felony sexual exploitation of a child.

"What they're trying to do is address the issue of juveniles who are sending pictures to other juveniles that they're not subjected to a Class 3 felony crime. So they're creating this class of misdemeanors. It does not dissolve a Class 3 felony, you can still be charged with that."

But the sexting ban is designed for more than just sending photos on your phone.

"It would be any electronic depictions of sexually explicit videos, so videos, pictures, any type of electronic media that would be sending them."

One of the recommendations to avoid landing in the jail cell is to have parents communicate with their child.

Licensed Professional Counselor, Elizabeth Aubert suggested to --"Have conversations with our children --that they don't know who's on the other end. That sometimes there are sexual predators out there and have the conversation with them about Internet safety."

She says there are ways to stop this, but it's not just parents taking action, school officials and peers too.

"When students are leading the conversation and they're asking each other the questions that is far more powerful."

The bill will require the school safety resource center to make available a sexting curriculum for school district to use.

For more on the law, you can go to leg.colorado.gov/bills/hb17-1302


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