Go to Top

Sexting & Child Pornography Laws in the United States

Nude photos, lewd text messages, and other intimate visual and written material on cell phones and smartphones are becoming a hot topic in the media. This trend does seem to be a bigger issue than you’d think – over 16 percent of people over the age of 18 polled in a McAfee survey reported having sent sexual content to a complete stranger.

While this may result in serious consequences for adults if caught, teenage sexting poses even greater problems. According to GuardChild.com, 20 percent of teens report having sent nude or semi-nude photos and videos of themselves, with 11 percent of girls ages 13-16 sharing this type of material. An even larger percentage of teens – 39 percent – have sent suggestive text messages, emails, or instant messages (IMs). Sending or receiving a sexually suggestive message, image, or video of someone who is under the age of 18 can be considered child pornography.

We have gathered information about sexting laws around the U.S. that we hope is useful and sobering. To remain up-to-date on the latest legislative changes across the nation, you may want to keep an eye on this document.

Alabama

Alabama does not have a specific sexting statute in their laws, which means that teenagers caught sending or receiving sexually suggestive materials can be prosecuted under the State’s laws around child pornography, obscenity, or material harmful to minors. There are no exceptions made for minors. A conviction for any of these charges under Alabama law requires registration as a sex offender.

Child pornography in Alabama is defined as an obscene material with an illustration of a child under the age of 17. If charged, an individual faces up to 20 years in jail and up to $30,000 in fines.

Alaska

Alaska does not have a sexting law, so currently an individual who is caught promoting, distributing, publishing, or possessing sexually explicit images of a minor can be charged under the State’s child porn laws – regardless of age.

The penalties vary based on distribution. Currently, it is a class B misdemeanor if the sexually suggestive material is published or distributed to one or two other people; this is punishable by up to 90 days in jail. Publishing or distributing the material to three or more people is punishable by up to one (1) year in jail. Distributing the material on the Internet is a class C felony, which is punishable by up to five (5) years in jail.

However, the Alaska State Legislature has introduced bills that would lessen the sentence a minor 16 years of age or older would receive if he or she is caught sending sexually suggestive images of his or herself without parental consent. It would also not apply to anyone who is under 16 years of age.

Arizona

Arizona does have a sexting-specific law in place that addresses minors sending sexually explicit material as well as minors receiving sexually explicit material. In addition to images and videos, the law also encompasses sexually explicit text.

Under Arizona law, distributing a sexually explicit image to just one person is a petty offense and punishable by a fine. Distributing the same image to more than one person is a misdemeanor. Sexting is a class 3 criminal misdemeanor for a minor who sends the image and for a minor who receives the image; this is punishable by up to 30 days in jail and/or a $500 fine. If a minor receives sexually explicit material without requesting it and either deletes it or reports it to someone in authority, it is not a misdemeanor in Arizona.

Minors charged with a misdemeanor under the sexting law may be eligible for a diversion program that includes community service, restitution, and education.

Individuals over the age of 18 who send, receive, and/or distribute sexually explicit material involving a minor may still be charged with sexual exploitation of a minor. If convicted, this charge is punishable by up to 17 years in prison for each image transmitted without the opportunity for probation.

Arkansas

As of 2013, Act 1086 defines Arkansas’ juvenile sexting laws. A minor who possesses sexually explicit material of a person under the age of 18 may be charged with possession of sexually explicit material. A first-time conviction may be punishable by up to eight (8) hours of community service. Prior to this, it was a criminal felony that came with up to 30 years of prison time and sex offender registration if convicted – regardless of age.

California

The State of California does not have a sexting law. Individuals who create, distribute, or possess explicit material of a minor can be charged under the child pornography laws in California. If tried as an adult and convicted, a minor can face up to six (6) years in jail, up to $100,000 in fines, and will likely be required to register as a sex offender.

The Senate did introduce a bill in 2011, SB 919, that would maintain that it is illegal for minors to produce, send, or receive sexually explicit material of a minor. However, the offense would be punishable by community service and mandatory counseling paid for by the offender’s parents or guardians. It would allow schools to expel teens caught sexting.

Colorado

Colorado does not have a sexting statute that addresses sending or receiving sexually explicit material of a minor as a minor. Any individual found to be creating, possessing, or distributing sexually explicit images of a minor can be charged with sexual exploitation of a minor, a felony. If convicted of creating or distributing the material, the charge is punishable by up to 12 years in prison. A first-time possession conviction may be punishable by up to 18 months in prison.

Connecticut

Connecticut passed a law in November 2010 that a minor between the ages of 13 and 17 in possession of sexually suggestive material of someone between the ages of 13 and 15 can be charged with child pornography as a class A misdemeanor. If convicted, a minor still faces up to one (1) year in prison and/or a fine of up to $2,000. The convicted minor would not need to register as a sex offender. However, the law is specific to those age ranges, so minors who do not fit under this statute may face up to five (5) years in jail and sex offender registration.

Prior to the passing of this bill, minors caught sexting could be charged with felony possession of child pornography, as an adult would.

Delaware

Delaware does not have a sexting-specific law, which means that a minor found to be creating, possessing, or transmitting sexually explicit material of a minor may be charged under the state’s child pornography laws.

Possessing sexually explicit material of a minor is a class F felony, which is punishable by up to three (3) years in prison. Creating, producing, or distributing sexually explicit images of a minor falls under sexual exploitation of a child, which is a class B felony punishable by up to 25 years in prison if convicted. Distributing, transmitting, or receiving sexually explicit images of a minor with the intent to sell is a class B felony called dealing in child pornography. It is also punishable by up to 25 years in prison. A conviction for any of these charges will require an individual to register as a sex offender.

Florida

As of October 2011, Florida law determines that any minor caught taking, sending, or possessing nude images of a minor can be charged with a non-criminal violation for a first-time offense. The punishment for this offense is either eight (8) hours of community service or a $60 fine. A second offense will be charged as a misdemeanor and a third offense will be charged as a felony. Images sent or received within a 24-hour period will be lumped into one offense. A minor who receives sexually explicit images of a minor but did not request them, did not distribute them, and tried to report them to an authority figure will not be charged with an offense. This law only applies to minors under the age of 18. Furthermore, creating, possessing, or distributing images of minors engaged in sexual activities or sexual excitement are not covered under this change in law, so minors may still be charged with child pornography for sexually suggestive or explicit material.

Georgia

As of July 2013, Georgia makes it either a misdemeanor or a felony for minors to engage in sexting where sexually explicit material is concerned. (It depends on the facts of the case and whether or not harassment or intimidation was used against the minor depicted.) House Bill 156 determines that it is a misdemeanor charge if the individual depicted was at least 14 years of age at the time the image was created, the person in possession of the image is not over the age of 18, and the person depicted consented to the creation and distribution of the image. Electronically furnishing obscene materials to minors is also a misdemeanor if the person receiving the materials is at least 14 years of age and consenting to receiving them.

Hawaii

In Hawaii, it is a misdemeanor to send and/or to receive sexual images of a minor as of 2012. A person who receives a sexually explicit depiction of a minor and takes reasonable steps to destroy the image immediately without distributing may not be charged under the statute. Prior to this point, any person regardless of age could be charged with child pornography, a felony under Hawaii state law.

Idaho

Idaho does not have a sexting law. If anyone is found to create, distribute, or possess a sexually explicit image of a minor, he or she may be charged under Idaho’s child pornography laws. Two minors who engage in sexting would be prosecuted under these laws as there are no exceptions made. Possession of child pornography is punishable by up to 10 years in jail, while creation or distribution of child pornography is punishable by up to 30 years in jail. A conviction of either type of offense will require registration as a sex offender.

Illinois

As of January 2011, minors found to be sexting will typically not be charged under child pornography laws but may instead be sentenced to supervision, counseling, and/or community service. They will not be required to register as sex offenders. Anyone who is 18 years of age or older who is found to be sexting with a minor can still be charged and prosecuted under Illinois’ child pornography laws.

Indiana

Indiana does not currently have a sexting-specific statute. Regardless of age, individuals caught sending or receiving sexually explicit material of a minor can be charged under the state’s child porn laws. Indiana lawmakers have initiated several sexting bills over the years to amend the child pornography laws for minors engaged in sexting, but nothing has passed yet. Under Indiana law, possession may be punishable by up to three (3) years in prison and a fine of up to $10,000. Distribution or creation is punishable by up to eight (8) years in prison and a fine of up to $10,000. Any person convicted will be required to register as a sex offender.

Iowa

Iowa does not have a sexting law. If an individual is found to have a sexually explicit image or video of a minor on his or her phone, Iowa may charge and prosecute the individual for child pornography. Possession or purchasing of child pornography is considered an aggravated misdemeanor if convicted for a first-time offense. Coercing or permitting a minor to engage in sexually explicit situations is a class C felony punishable by up to 10 years in prison and a fine of up to $50,000 per offense. Promoting sexually explicit material depicting a minor is a class D felony punishable by up to five (5) years in prison and a fine of up to $25,000 per offense. Any offense convicted under the child pornography statute will generally require an individual to register as a sex offender.

Kansas

The State of Kansas does not differentiate between minors and adults under its child pornography laws. Regardless of age, anyone who makes, distributes, possesses, or purchases sexually explicit material that depicts a minor may be charged with and prosecuted for a felony. If the material includes a child under the age of 18, the charge is punishable by up to 34 years in jail, a sizable fine, and required registration as a sex offender.

Kentucky

Kentucky does not currently have a sexting-specific law in place. Any individual, include a minor, can be prosecuted under the child pornography laws in Kentucky for creating, distributing, or possessing sexually explicit material of a minor. In 2010, the Commonwealth proposed legislation to address sexting, but it failed and has not yet been revisited.

To knowingly use communications devices to procure or promote minors engaging in sexual activity is punishable by up to five (5) years in jail. Distributing sexually explicit material depicting a minor is punishable by up to five (5) years in jail, as is possession of these types of materials. Kentucky requires convicted people to register as sex offenders.

Louisiana

Louisiana was one of the first states in the U.S. to deal with sexting. If a person under the age of 17 sends an “indecent image” of him or herself to another minor under the age of 17, he or she will be fined up to $250, incarcerated for up to 10 days, or both. The jail time may be substituted for probation and two (2) eight-hour days of community service. For a second offense, the fine increases up to $500 with jail time of up to 30 days, or both; the possibility for probation with five (5) eight-hour days of community service is also available. A third-time offense may result in a fine of up to $700, jail time of up to six (6) months, or both. Ten eight-hour days of community service may be imposed instead of jail time.

Prior to this sexting law, any person regardless of age could be charged under the much harsher child pornography laws, which come with additional penalties and sex offender registration.

Maine

Maine does not have a sexting law, so anyone found to create, distribute, or possess sexually explicit material depicting a minor may be prosecuted under child pornography laws. Sexual exploitation of a minor, possession with the intent to distribute (dissemination), and possession or purchase of any material may be charged as a felony. If convicted of possession, an individual faces up to five (5) years in prison and a fine; if convicted of sexual exploitation or dissemination, an individual faces up to 10 years in prison. Under these laws, anyone tried and convicted as an adult would be required to register as a sex offender.

Maryland

The State of Maryland does not have a sexting law and does not have any legislative proposals to create a sexting statute. Possession of sexually explicit materials depicting a minor under the age of 16 is a misdemeanor offense. If convicted, a defendant may be punished with up to five (5) years in jail and/or a fine of up to $2,500. Creating, distributing, promoting, or transmitting sexually explicit material including a minor holds greater penalties – up to 10 years in jail and/or a fine of up to $25,000 for a first-time offense.

Massachusetts

Massachusetts does not currently have a sexting law, so anyone who is found to create, possess, or distribute sexually explicit material depicting a minor is subject to Massachusetts’ child porn laws. The Commonwealth enacted legislation pertaining to sexting and obscenity, but a federal judge declared that the proposed law was too broad. Possessing sexual material involving a minor is punishable by up to five (5) years in prison or 30 months in jail as well as up to $10,000 in fines for a first-time offense. Soliciting or encouraging a minor to pose nude or semi-nude, including through text messaging, is punishable by up to 20 years in prison and up to $50,000 in fines. Distribution of sexually explicit material of a minor is punishable by up to 20 years in prison and up to $50,000 in fines. Any conviction under the Commonwealth’s child pornography laws requires sex offender registration.

Minnesota

In Minnesota, there is no sexting-specific law. Therefore, anyone who is found to possess, create, or distribute sexually explicit material involving a minor can be charged under the state’s child pornography laws – regardless of age. Possession of sexually explicit material involving a child brings penalties of up to five (5) years in prison and a fine of up to $5,000 for a first offense. Distribution or dissemination of sexually explicit images of a minor is charged as a felony, and it is punishable by up to seven (7) years in prison and a fine of up to $10,000 for a first offense. Promoting or permitting a minor to engage in sexual activity or assist others in engaging minors in sexual activity is punishable by up to 10 years in prison and/or a fine of up to $20,000. In order to be convicted, the state must show that the individual charged knew of the content or character of the material or had reason to know. A conviction for any of these offenses requires sex offender registration.

Mississippi

Mississippi does not currently have a sexting law. Anyone who creates, possesses, or distributes sexually explicit images of a minor can be charged with child pornography in Mississippi. There has been some discussion to create a sexting law but legislative proposals have not yet yielded a change. Child pornography laws in Mississippi are punishable by up to 40 years in prison, depending on the statute applied, a fine of up to $500,000. Child pornography convictions require sex offender registrations.

Missouri

Missouri does have a sexting-specific law as of 2009. Under the amended law, a minor who is found to be possessing or distributing sexually explicit material of a minor may be charged with a class A misdemeanor (as opposed to a felony) without needing to register as a sex offender. However, the misdemeanor offense is punishable by up to one (1) year in jail and a fine of up to $1,000 if convicted for a first-time offense. A second offense is charged as a class D felony, punishable by up to four (4) years in jail and a fine of up to $5,000.

Montana

Montana does not have a sexting law. Any person, regardless of age, who creates, disseminates, or possesses a sexually explicit image of a minor, can be charged under the state’s child porn laws. Possession of child pornography comes with a penalty of up to 10 years in jail and a sizable fine. Other child porn offenses – promoting minor sexual conduct, creating or filming the material, transmitting it, and so forth – may be punishable by up to 100 years in jail and a sizable fine. If convicted, an individual must register as a sex offender.

Nebraska

Nebraska’s laws do have specific language around sexting. In 2009, the state passed a law to criminalize underage sexting. However, individuals under 18 may have an affirmative defense against a charge of underage sexting if they received the sexually explicit materials from a minor of at least 15 years of age via text message and the minor depicted voluntarily created the image. Individuals who distribute the image may be subject to a charge of child pornography. Taking a photo or video of a minor engaging in sexual activity is still a crime, even if the person in the photo is a minor.

Under Nebraska’s child pornography, a person over the age of 18 or a minor tried as an adult for child pornography could face up to 20 years in jail and/or thousands of dollars in fines if convicted. He or she will also need to register as a sex offender.

Nevada

The State of Nevada has, as of July 2011, a sexting law that applies to minors found to be sexting. (Previously, minors would have been charged under the state’s child pornography laws.) A minor caught sexting may be treated as a child in need of supervision instead of a criminal for a first-time offense, though a second offense may likely be charged as a misdemeanor. A minor in possession of a sexually explicit image of another minor will likely not be prosecuted if the minor in possession did not request the image and took reasonable steps to delete the images. Under the new law, minors engaged in sexting do not have to register as sex offenders.

New Hampshire

New Hampshire does not have a sexting law, so any individual found to possess, create, distribute, or transmit sexually explicit materials involving minors will be charged under the state’s child porn laws. Possession or purchase of child porn is punishable by up to 20 years in prison if convicted, though there are some exceptions to charges. Publishing sexually explicit material involving minors is punishable by up to 20 years in prison if convicted. Creating or manufacturing such material is punishable by up to 30 years in prison. A conviction will require sex offender registration.

New Jersey

New Jersey has a sexting law that pertains to minors. If caught, minors can avoid prosecution under the New Jersey Endangering Welfare of Children law and will be required to attend a state-sponsored educational program geared towards educating minors about the dangers of sexting. Only teenagers under the age of 18 are eligible for this program, and only a first-time offense will benefit from the educational program. Subsequent acts may be diverted or referred to court action depending on the situation.

New Mexico

New Mexico does not have a sexting law and does not make exceptions for minors. Any individual who possesses, creates, transmits, or disseminates sexually explicit material involving a minor can be charged under New Mexico’s child pornography laws. Intentional possession of sexual material involving a minor is punishable by up to 18 months in jail. Distribution is punishable by up to three (3) years in jail. Encouraging or permitting a minor to participate in sexual situations is punishable by up to three (3) years in jail, unless the child is under the age of 13, in which case an individual faces up to nine (9) years in jail). Production of sexually explicit material involving minors is punishable by up to nine (9) years in jail. All offenses require sex offender registration if convicted.

New York

New York State law is one of the most lenient around sexting. In 2011, an underage sexting law was passed where two individuals engaging in sexting must both be under the age of 20 and be within five (5) years of age from each other. Both parties will be required to participate in an education reform program of eight (8) hours to learn about the consequences of sexting.

North Carolina

North Carolina does not have a sexting law. Possession of sexually explicit material involving a minor is considered third degree sexual exploitation of a child, a class F felony. If convicted, a defendant faces up to six (6) years in prison. Distributing, purchasing, or receiving such material is considered second degree sexual exploitation of a child – a class E felony punishable by up to nine (9) years in prison. Convictions for either degree require sex offender registration.

North Dakota

As of 2011, North Dakota has a sexting-related law that reduces possession, distribution, or creation of a sexually expressive image to a misdemeanor, regardless of the age of the person in question. If an individual is convicted under the sexting statute, he or she will not be required to register as a sex offender. Prior to this, any individual caught sending or receiving explicit images of a minor would be charged with a felony under the child pornography laws in North Dakota. If convicted of sexting, an individual may be punished with up to one (1) year in jail and up to $1,000 in fines.

Ohio

Ohio does not currently have a sexting law. Any person, regardless of age, can be charged under the state’s child pornography laws for sexting. It’s a second-degree felony and if convicted, a minor may be required to register as a sex offender. Child pornography laws in Ohio also are punishable by up to eight (8) years in jail and a fine. House Bill 473 passed the House in Ohio back in 2010, which would incorporate a sexting statute that would decrease the charge for minors to a misdemeanor; however, this went to the Senate and was not passed there.

Oklahoma

Oklahoma has a sexting law that passed in 2014. Any minor under the age of 18 engaging in sexting images or videos of another minor under the age of 18 but over the age of 13 may be charged with a misdemeanor.

Provided that the minor depicted consented or the image was transmitted to five or fewer destinations, this may be punishable by up to $500 for a first offense or up to $1,000 for a second or subsequent offense, up to 40 hours of community service, and either juvenile probation or educational diversion program.

If the minor depicted did not consent or the image was transmitted to six or more places, the misdemeanor carries punishments of up to $700 for a first offense or up to $1,400 for a second or subsequent offense, up to 60 hours of community service, juvenile probation, and an educational diversion program.

If the minor depicted is 13 years of age or younger, with or without the minor’s consent, the misdemeanor is punishable by a fine of up to $900 for a first offense or $1,800 for a second or subsequent offense, up to 80 hours of community service, juvenile probation, and an educational diversion program.

These penalties apply regardless of whether or not the person sexting the image is the same person depicted in the image. If a minor received a sext but did not request it and did not distribute it, he or she may have a defense against the charges.

Oregon

Under current laws, anyone who creates, possesses, or distributes sexually explicit material of a minor may be charged with child pornography in Oregon. There have been some legislative proposals to decrease the penalties for minors caught sexting, but it has not been passed. Possession of sexually explicit material depicting a minor is considered third-degree encouraging child sexual abuse. This is a class A misdemeanor punishable by up to one (1) year in jail and up to $6,250 in fines. The distribution of such material is considered first-degree encouraging child sexual abuse, a class B felony that is punishable by up to 10 years in jail and/or up to $250,000 in fines.

Pennsylvania

As of October 2012, the transmission of sexually explicit images depicting a minor by a minor is a summary offense. It is a misdemeanor to send a sexually explicit image of a minor other than oneself. The punishments for these offenses are typically a diversionary program and possibly participating and successful completion of an educational program. Following these penalties, the minor’s criminal record may be expunged.

Rhode Island

Rhode Island does have a sexting law, and the statute outlines that a minor transmitting a sexually explicit image of his or herself to another person is a status offense in family court and will not be required to register as a sex offender. This law only applies to a person sending photos of his or herself. A minor who possesses or distributes sexually explicit material of another minor may still be prosecuted under the state’s child porn laws. In the case of possession, this could mean up to five (5) years in jail and/or a fine if convicted, while the transfer or transmission of such material may be punishable by up to 15 years in jail. Both would require sex offender registration.

South Carolina

South Carolina does not have a sexting law, but has proposed a bill in 2011 to handle underage sexting. Currently, possessing an image of a minor engaged in a sexual act is charged as third-degree sexual exploitation of a minor, punishable by up to 10 years in jail. Creating or distributing sexually explicit material depicting a minor is considered second-degree sexual exploitation of a minor and is punishable by up to 10 years in jail. As of 2014, the bill has not moved out of the South Carolina State Senate to reduce the charge for a minor to a misdemeanor.

South Dakota

South Dakota does have a specific sexting statute as of 2012. It is a misdemeanor for a minor to possess or transmit sexually indecent images of a minor. If a minor who has received a sext did not solicit the image or video, did not distribute it to anyone, and tried to delete the image, he or she has an affirmative defense. Prior to this, minors were charged as adults would be for possession or transmission of sexually explicit material of a minor. South Dakota’s child pornography laws are class 4 felonies and subject to up to 10 years in prison and up to $20,000 in fines.

Tennessee

Tennessee does not have a sexting law on its books, which means that possessing, sending, or creating a sexually explicit image or video depicting a minor can be charged under the state’s child porn laws. Possession is charged separately for each item containing a minor engaging in sexual activity, and an individual faces up to 12 years in prison and/or a fine of up to $5,000 if convicted. Knowingly using a minor to create sexually explicit material is punishable by up to 30 years in prison and/or a fine of up to $25,000. Knowingly distributing this type of material is punishable by up to 15 years in prison and/or a fine of up to $10,000. A child porn conviction in Tennessee requires an individual to register as a sex offender.

Texas

In Texas, underage sexting is a misdemeanor, with second and subsequent offenses carrying greater penalties if convicted. A minor may be sentenced to community supervision and required to complete an educational program paid for by his or her parents. Since a misdemeanor conviction will be on the juvenile’s record, he or she can have the conviction expunged on or after the seventeenth birthday. If a minor receives a sexually explicit image of another minor, did not request it, and tried to delete the image, he or she may have an affirmative defense.

Utah

Utah was one of the first states to pass a law about sexting back in 2009. It is considered a misdemeanor offense for minors to engage in sexting provided that it is the first offense. Subsequent offenses are charged as felonies.

Vermont

Vermont has a specific statute pertaining to minors engaged in sexting. They will be adjudicated delinquent and referred to juvenile diversion for a first-time offense. A second or subsequent offense may be charged as a crime for the sexual exploitation of children, but will not have to register as sex offenders. Criminal records can be expunged when minors charged with sexting turn 18. If a minor receives a sext but deletes the image, he or she may have a defense against the charges. An adult 18 years of age or older who is found to have a sexually explicit image of a minor and the minor knowingly and voluntarily sent the image, the adult may be punished with a fine of up to $300 and/or up to six (6) months in prison.

Virginia

Virginia does not currently have a sexting law. Creating, distributing, or possessing sexually explicit material depicting a minor can be charged under the Commonwealth’s child porn laws regardless of age. Furthermore, these are separate felony charges and may be charged as up to three separate felonies. If convicted, an individual must register as a sex offender. It does not matter if a minor took a photo or video of his or herself – the charge may be punishable by up to 20 years in prison if the minor depicted is 15 years of age or older, or up to 30 years in prison if the minor is under the age of 15. Possession of child pornography is a class 6 felony punishable by up to five (5) years in prison. Distribution is punishable by up to 20 years in prison.

Washington

There are currently no laws in Washington State regulating sexting. Any individual who creates, transmits, or possesses an image of a minor engaged in a sexually explicit act can be charged under child pornography laws. Possession of sexually explicit material depicting a minor is a class B felony punishable by up to 10 years in prison and/or a $20,000 fine. Distributing or transmitting the material is a class C felony punishable by up to five (5) years in prison and/or a $10,000 fine. A conviction for either offense will require a defendant to register as a sex offender.

West Virginia

West Virginia does have a sexting law as of 2013. Any minor who creates, possesses, or sends a sexually explicit image of another minor (including his or herself) can be charged with delinquency. Typically the penalty for this charge is an educational diversion program around the dangers of sexting, but it depends largely on the adjudication disposition at the circuit court level.

Wisconsin

In the State of Wisconsin, there is not a sexting statute. Anyone who creates, sends, or possesses a sexually explicit image of a minor can be charged under the child pornography laws in Wisconsin. A minor under the age of 18 who knowingly possesses a sexually explicit image of a minor can be charged with a class I felony, punishable by up to three and a half (3.5) years in prison and/or a fine of up to $10,000. Creating or causing a minor to engage in a sexually explicit activity as a minor is a class F felony punishable by up to 12.5 years in prison and/or a fine of up to $25,000. Distribution or transmission of such material is also considered a class F felony. If convicted, the defendant must register as a sex offender.

Wyoming

Wyoming does not have a sexting law. It is illegal to create, possess, share, transmit, or distribute sexually explicit images of a minor, regardless of age. A possession charge may be punishable by up to 10 years in jail and a fine of up to $10,000, while Wyoming’s other child porn laws are punishable by up to 12 years in jail and a fine of up to $10,000. Those convicted of a child porn statute will be required to register themselves as sex offenders.

Comments (3)