BOISE, Idaho – Representative Greg Chaney (R-Caldwell) introduced a bill today in the House Judiciary and Rules Committee aimed at revamping Idaho’s obscenity laws to address a practice commonly referred to as “sexting” among minors.
“Sexting” is the sending and receiving of picture messages involving obscene or suggestive images.
The new bill is set to address a problem with current Idaho laws that don’t differentiate between “sexts” from child pornography involving exploited youth.
“Making a poor choice with a camera phone shouldn’t turn an adolescent into a registered sex offender,” Chaney said, “particularly where it’s consensual and self-made.”
Chaney points out that his bill doesn’t condone the act of sexting, but makes a clear line between child pornography and the practice. Under the bill sexting between minors would be a misdemeanor, removing it from the current statute that would make similar activity a felony and could impose registry as a sex offender.
The bill also addresses the act of using an image that has been “sexted” to blackmail the sender. Chaney pointed out that under current law, the blackmailer and the sender would be treated the same under the law; thus creating a potential shield for the bully. By specifically defining blackmail and extortion using “sexts,” Chaney hopes to create a legal environment where victims of this type of extortion feel more comfortable seeking help.
Courtesy of KIFI Local News 8: Idaho lawmaker introduces bill addressing “sexting”