Teen "sexting" in Texas now a misdemeanor - KFDA - NewsChannel 10 / Amarillo News, Weather, Sports

Teen "sexting" in Texas now a misdemeanor

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47th District Attorney Randall Sims 47th District Attorney Randall Sims

NewsChannel 10

Amarillo, Texas - "Sexting" among teens is on the rise, but Governor Perry has made a move that may surprise you. A bill was just signed into law that actually decreases the penalty for a teenage minor sending sexual images on their phone to another teenage minor.

The new law aims to tackle the "sexting" problem among teens, but it also aims to protect them.

Previously, teens were subjected to serious criminal penalties with lifelong consequences: a felony child pornography charge and a sex offender registration. Now, a misdemeanor charge is on the table, but the felony remains an option.

47th District Attorney Randall Sims says, "It has an expunction clause. Once they become 17, if they haven't had any additional trouble at that point, then they can get this wiped off their record. An expunction is an erasure off their criminal history."

Sims says distinguishing between a misdemeanor and a felony will be difficult in certain cases, but lawmakers intend for a distinction to be made between those who are sexual predators and those who have simply made a mistake.