State Senate passes bill, ‘sexting’ teens could avoid felony

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RICHMOND, Va. (AP) – The Virginia Senate has passed a bill intended to keep teenagers who willingly share sexually explicit images with one another from being branded felony sex offenders.

The Washington Post reports the bill passed Monday on a bipartisan 35-to-5 vote. It was sponsored by Republican Sen. William M. Stanley Jr. and Democratic Sen. Scott A. Surovell.

Stanley says the bill would give prosecutors the option to charge “sexting” among minors as a misdemeanor. Under current law, the sender and recipient can be charged with dissemination and possession of child pornography, a felony.

Democratic Sen. J. Chapman “Chap” Petersen says the bill is well-intentioned but could criminally charge minors for something that parents should handle.

The bill now goes to the House of Delegates for consideration.

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Information from: The Washington Post, http://www.washingtonpost.com

Copyright 2018 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Copyright 2019 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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