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Sexting bill could land teens in rehabilitative process

A teen sexting bill in Colorado could change how teens are treated if they send illicit images of themselves to others. According to the news from March 30, prosecutors in Colorado want to have new laws that address teen sexting. The new bill would make sexting a Class 2 misdemeanor offense, even for a juvenile. It would be illegal to distribute, possess, display or publish images of a minor, even if that minor is the person posting the image.

In current Colorado laws, teen sexting is a felony, so in some ways, the law could help reduce the penalties teens could face. If you were caught presently, then you could find yourself fighting against a lifelong registration on the sex offender registry. Current statutes can also result in a teen receiving a child pornography conviction, and that comes with a required sex offender registration.

Opponents of the bill state that lawmakers aren't actually discouraging sexting with the bill, and it could result in the vilification of the consensual exchange of nude images. Those in favor of the bill say that the law would discourage teens from making a mistake that could harm them.

The bill could, potentially, give teens a way to rehabilitate after sexting instead of being put on a sex offender registry, which could hurt a teen's future. The bill doesn't, however, protect victims, according to the Colorado Coalition Against Sexual Assault, because they could be charged if they were forced to take images of themselves. Consensual sexting, in the new bill, could be seen as a petty offense in some cases, but that would likely be on a case-by-case basis.

Source: The Denver Post, "What's behind the pushback against Colorado's teen sexting bill," Jesse Paul, March 30, 2016

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