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TN Legislature passes ‘sexting law’ for minors

Tennessee’s Legislature has passed a new bill that would allow minors who send sexually explicit photos of themselves to others to face less serious consequences than they currently face.

The current law states that juveniles who email or text sexually explicit photos to another person can be charged with sexual exploitation of a minor, even if the pictures are consensual.

Williamson County District Attorney Kim Helper said that charge is the equivalent of child pornography and prosecutors find it hard to bring such serious charges against in most cases.

The new bill says, minors could be charged instead with an unruly offense in juvenile court, which is not as serious and doesn’t put such a bold mark on a minor’s record.

The Tennessee House passed the measure last week in Nashville. It passed in the Senate today by a vote of 26-2.

The bill was sponsored by Sen. Jack Johnson, a Republican from Franklin.

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