New Arkansas law allows 'sexting' teens to be prosecuted

    10:32 PM, Nov 5, 2013   |    comments
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    BATESVILLE, Ark. (KTHV) - Two Batesville teenagers are facing criminal charges for 'sexting'. It's a fairly new term. Sexting means to send sexually explicit pictures or text messages but a new Arkansas law says if you're under 18, it's illegal.

    This 'sexting' case is one of several in the last few years Lt. Mike Mundy has handled but for the first time, this file is headed to the Prosecutor's office.

    "We have a couple of juveniles that are sending photographs through text messages of themselves and their nudity. One of the parents found out about it, brought it to our attention and we followed up on it and sure enough, both the juveniles had requested the photos of the other one and sent them to each other," says Lt. Mundy.

    So since when did teenagers 'sexting' become Lt. Mundy's problem? Since Senate Bill 829 became law August 16th addressing children engaged in sexually explicit conduct for use in visual or print medium and the possession of sexually explicit digital material. It basically means if your teen sends or receives nude or sexual pictures, they can be charged with a class A misdemeanor and serve 8 hours of community service.

    "We've seen a lot of cases where parents would come in and say my son or my daughter had been dating somebody. They broke up. Now all of a sudden there are all kinds of pictures out there on various social medias," says Lt. Mundy.

    Now this new law holds both the sender and receiver accountable, a law Lt. Mundy hopes will cut down on teen 'sexting' all together.

    "You can set all the privacy settings you want. Somebody is going to see it that you didn't intend to see it," says Lt. Mundy.

    This law only applies to photographs or visual depictions of nudity or sexual acts involving juveniles. Lt. Mundy believes this particular case could be the first one prosecuted in the state.

    The details of the case have been withheld because juveniles involved are underage.

    READ THE ENTIRE LAW: http://on.kthv.com/175I20f

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