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"Sexting" Now Against the Law for Teens

AROUND ARKANSAS -- Two teens are being investigated after getting busted for sexting. A new state law actually makes it illegal to sext, but the statute seems to have flown under the radar, until now.
AROUND ARKANSAS -- Two teens are being investigated after getting busted for sexting. A new state law actually makes it illegal to sext, but the statute seems to have flown under the radar until now.

"Sadly enough, we've had several issues with this over the past five or six years where kids are taking naked pictures of themselves and sending them on to other people... This law makes it a crime for either side to do it, either taking the picture and sending it or receiving it. Now, just receiving it in and of itself is not necessarily going to be a crime if you didn't ask for it, you didn't distribute it, and you deleted it when you received it," said Washington County Prosecutor John Threet.

Sexting is now against the law in Arkansas if you are under the age of 18. As of August 16, 2013, creating, distributing or posessing sexually explicit digital material is a misdeamenor and culprits could face up to a year in jail and a $2,500 fine.

"It usually comes to law enforcement's attention because some parent eventually finds out... Back when I was their age, you had film and you took it and got it developed... With technology making many things easier, one of the things that's easier is distributing bascially sexually explicit material."

Even if a teen snaps a picture for one person, it can instantly be made public.

"This particular law was created because there was a specific problem with kids doing this... I think it was surprising to a lot of parents that there was not a law in this in the first place... There was a gap, that gap has now been filled."

So now, kids should realize sexting is a crime.

"I would think at least now, people are going to be far more cautious and maybe put some thought into making bad decisions, prior to making them."

Surprisingly, Threet said only a handful of other states have juvenile sexting statutes in place. But, he believes they will most likely start adopting similar laws since Arkansas is definitely not the only state dealing with this issue.

To read the entire law, click here.







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