Georgia made it a misdemeanor for someone at least 14 years old to send a sexually explicit photograph to someone 18 years old or younger, if the purpose of distributing it was not for harassing, intimidating, or embarrassing the minor depicted, or for any commercial purpose. 20 With this statute, Georgia reduced the charges and punishment for minors involved in sexting. This conviction would come with a sentence of 5 to 20 years’ imprisonment and fines up $100,000.
South Dakota enacted legislation in 2012, establishing the definition of sexting and declaring it a misdemeanor: No minor may intentionally create, produce, distribute, present, transmit, post, exchange, disseminate, or possess, through any computer or digital media, any photograph or digitized image or any visual depiction of a minor in any condition of nudity, or involved in any prohibited sexual act. 21]. South Dakota also specified that it would be an affirmative defense if the minor had not solicited the visual depiction and does not “subsequently distribute, present, transmit, post, print, disseminate, or https://hookupdate.net/local-hookup/houston/ exchange the visual depiction, and that the minor deletes or destroys the visual depiction upon receipt.” Creating an image of oneself without ever distributing the image was also established as an affirmative defense.
22 The author noted that because advancements in technology are outpacing the law, a multidisciplinary approach including social and educational as opposed to legal responses might be more appropriate. She also emphasized the role of child psychologists and psychiatrists in educating teenagers and their families. Another author, writing for The Journal of Contemporary Health Law and Policy, proposed using parents and schools in addition to the legal system in attempts to deter and punish juveniles engaged in sexting. 23 This author advocated for schools to provide education on the risks of sexting to all students and to enforce zero-tolerance policies for students engaged in sexting. The suggested approach would also allow for schools to conduct investigations, with punishments ranging from behavioral interventions to expulsion.
Case Identification and Examples
A search on , using the LexisNexis legal research engine Lexis Advance, with the search term “sexting” returned 63 results. A search on returned 75 results. This search engine provides content from primary law, legal news sources, treatises, jury verdicts, briefs, pleadings, motions, and expert witness transcripts and depositions. The number of results most likely demonstrates the relatively low number of cases involving sexting that have reached the appeals level. It is also possible that there are cases involving this subject matter that did not use the word sexting and would not have been included in the search results. The number of cases to reach appeal has been growing rapidly, likely reflective of the increasing number of cases being prosecuted in this area. The first 2 cases were from 2009. Eight cases were from 2010, 10 from 2011, 22 from 2012, and 20 from 2013. Between , 5 cases were added to Lexis Advance, and between , another 12 cases were added.
Any violation of this section constitutes the offense of juvenile sexting, which is a Class 1 misdemeanor [Ref
The results on Lexis Advance include some cases that have various opinions or appeals related to the same case. There were several cases where the focus was not on sexting, but the term sexting was used in the opinion. Approximately 20 cases involved sexting between an adult and a minor. Most of the cases did not fit the criteria of being exclusively between minors. This analysis focuses on the cases involving only juveniles. A comparison is made with 2 cases involving 18-year-old defendants.