Laws Pertaining to Sexting in the State of Iowa

Currently, Iowa does not a have a specific statute for Iowasexting offenses. In general, anyone (including a minor) who promotes, distributes or possesses an image of a minor engaged in a sexually explicit act may be prosecuted under the State’s child pornography laws and if convicted, will need to register as a sex offender.

Legislative Summary

Under Iowa law, individuals - regardless of age - who are caught with a sexually explicit image of a minor on their phone could be charged under the State’s child pornography statutes. If the individual is tried as an adult and is convicted, they could be imprisoned as well as be required to register as a sex offender.

Law and Punishment

In general, under Iowa law it is a criminal offense to knowingly:

  • Employ, use, persuade, induce, entice, coerce, solicit, knowingly permit, or otherwise cause or attempt to cause a minor to engage in a prohibited sexual act or in the simulation of a prohibited sexual act that will be reproduced as a visual image of any kind.
    • If convicted, a person commits a class "C" felony punishable by up to 10 years in prison. In addition, the court may assess a fine of not more than $50,000 for each such offense.
  • Promote any material visually depicting a live performance of a minor engaging in a prohibited sexual act or in the simulation of a prohibited sexual act.
    • If convicted, a person commits a class "D" felony punishable by up to 5 years in prison. In addition, the court may assess a fine of not more than $25,000 for each such offense.
  • Purchase or possess any visual image which depicts a minor engaging in a prohibited sexual act or the simulation of a prohibited sexual act.
    • A person who commits a violation of this subsection commits an aggravated misdemeanor for a first offense.

If someone is convicted under the child pornography statute they will generally be required to register as a sex offender.

sobering reality

Separate felony convictions for distribution or creation of child pornography.

Aggravated misdemeanor if conviction of possession of child pornography.

Up to 10 years in jail.

Registration as a sex offender.

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