RI House backs softer penalties for teen sexting


The Rhode Island House has endorsed legislation to ensure that teens who email or text sexually explicit photos of themselves don’t get prosecuted under child pornography laws.

The bill passed the House on Thursday and now goes to the Senate for consideration.

Under current law, minors who transmit indecent photos of themselves – a practice known as sexting – could face criminal charges that carry penalties of prison time and fines of up to $5,000.

The legislation would instead make sexting by minors a juvenile offense similar to truancy.

The bill’s sponsor, Rep. Peter Martin, a Newport Democrat, said he doesn’t want young people going to prison for being stupid.

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