Laws Pertaining to Sexting in the State of Montana

The State of Montana does not have a separate statute for Montanasexting crimes. In general, under Montana law anyone (including a minor) who creates, 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, may serve a life sentence or up to 100 years in jail and be required to register as a sex offender.

Legislative Summary

In general, the dissemination, receipt or production of an image containing a minor engaged in a sexual activity would constitute a felony under the Montana child pornography statutes. Exceptions to the law for minors do not exist and as such two minors who send each other sexually explicit images of themselves could be prosecuted under the State’s child pornography laws and if convicted, receive jail time and may need to register as a sex offender.

Law and Punishment

In general, under Montana law it is a felony to:

  • Knowingly photograph, film, videotape, develop or duplicate a photograph, a child engaging in sexual conduct;
  • Knowingly, by any means of communication, including electronic communication, persuade, entice, counsel, or procure a child under 16 years of age to engage in sexual conduct;
  • Knowingly process, develop, print, publish, transport, distribute, sell, exhibit, or advertise any visual or print medium, including a medium by use of electronic communication in which a child is engaged in sexual conduct;
  • Knowingly possess any visual or print medium, including a medium by use of electronic communication in which a child is engaged in sexual conduct, actual or simulated;
  • Finance any activity in which a minor is engaged in sexually explicit conduct; or
  • Possess with intent to sell any visual or print medium, including a medium by use of electronic communication in which a child is engaged in sexual conduct, actual or simulated.

If convicted under the statute for a crime other than possession of child pornography an individual could face a life sentence or up to 100 years in jail and a fine. If convicted of possession of child pornography an individual could face up to 10 years in jail and a fine. Penalties can be increased if the object of the child pornography was 12 years old or younger and the offender was older than 18.

sobering reality

Separate felony convictions for possession, distribution or creation of child pornography.

Up to 100 years in jail for distribution or creation of child pornography.

Up to 10 years in jail for possession of child pornography.

Registration as a sex offender.

Latest News Concerning Sexting in Montana

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