Laws Pertaining to Sexting in the State of Minnesota

Minnesota does not have a separate statute for sexting Minnesotacrimes. In the State of Minnesota anyone (including a minor) who creates, distributes or possesses an image of minor engaged in sexually explicit conduct may be prosecuted under the State’s child pornography laws and, if convicted, will generally receive jail time and need to register as a sex offender.

Legislative Summary

Minnesota has not created a separate statute for sexting crimes. Therefore, a minor who is caught creating, distributing or possessing a sexually explicit image of a minor (including themselves) could be charged under the State’s child pornography statutes. If the minor is convicted they will generally need to register as a sex offender.

Law and Punishment

In general, under Minnesota law it is illegal to:

  • Promote, employ, use or permit a minor to engage in or assist others to engage minors in sexually explicit activity.
    • Any person who violates this provision is guilty of a felony and may be sentenced to imprisonment for not more than 10 years or to payment of a fine of not more than $20,000, or both.
  • Disseminate an image of a minor engaged in a sexual act to an adult or a minor, knowing or with reason to know its content and character, is guilty of a felony.
    • May be sentenced to imprisonment for not more than 7 years and a fine of not more than $10,000 for a first offense.
  • Possess a pornographic work or a computer disk or computer or other electronic, magnetic, or optical storage system or a storage system of any other type, containing an image of a minor engaged in a sexual act, knowing or with reason to know its content and character, is guilty of a felony.
    • May be sentenced to imprisonment for not more than 5 years and a fine of not more than $5,000 for a first offense.

If convicted an offender will generally need to register as a sex offender.

sobering reality

5 to 10 years in jail.

Up to $20,000 in fines.

Register as sex offender.

Latest News Concerning Sexting in Minnesota

Willmar, Minn., man pleads in sexting case

West Central Tribune | July 10, 2012

Cloquet police investigate sexting case

Pine Journal | August 25, 2011

Wilmar man faces felony charges for sexting with 14 year old

West Central Tribune | August 25, 2011

Police Seek Woman Accused of Sexting Apple Valley Teen

Apple Valley Patch | May 19, 2011

Internet safety meeting planned at Hastings Middle School

Hastings Star Gazette | May 12, 2011

Man gets prison for sex texts with teen girl

CBS Minnesotta | April 26, 2011

Duluth Police Talk Sexting, Cyberbullying

Northland News | April 1, 2011

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