New Bill Could Allow Sexting Teens to Avoid Criminal Charges

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Sexting has become a serious issue, and now a new bill could prevent New Jersey teenagers from being prosecuted for texting or posting sexually explicit photos online. According to the bill, first-time offenders would have a chance to complete a diversionary program instead, reports the Huffington Post.

The program would help to educate teens on the consequences of their actions, rather than putting a blemish on their permanent criminal record. "We need to create a path that places education and forgiveness before arrest and prosecution," State Assemblywoman Pam Lampitt, who is sponsoring the bill, said.
"Young people -- especially teen girls -- need to understand that sending inappropriate pictures is not only potentially illegal, but can leave an indelible mark on them socially and educationally," she continued.

Last year, a 14-year-old girl from New Jersey was charged with child pornography and distribution of child porn after posting nude photos of herself on MySpace. She eventually received probation, and was ordered to receive counseling. Other states, such as Pennsylvania, Connecticut and Wisconsin, have also resorted to prosecution in an effort to stop teens from texting.

The new sexting bill will go before the New Jersey Assembly, but it must also be passed by the Senate before it becomes law. What do you think of the bill? Do you think sexting is a crime? Should first-time offenders be prosecuted or counseled? Let us know your thoughts in the comments. %Poll-59195%

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