Laws Pertaining to Sexting in the State of Nevada
In June of 2011, the Governor signed a new law that creates a specific law for underaged sexting. The new law applies only to minors who are caught sexting. The minors would face lesser punishment than under the child pornography statutes. The new law goes into effect on July 1st. Previously in Nevada, anyone (including a minor) who promoted, distributed or possessed an image of a minor engaged in a sexually explicit act could have been prosecuted under the State’s child pornography laws and if convicted, would have been required to register as a sex offender.
The new law makes sexting illegal between minors. Under the new law, a minor who is caught using an electronic device to transmit or distribute an explicit image of themselves could be treated by the judge as a “child in need of supervision” for their first offense rather than a delinquent. A second offence could be considered a misdemeanor. With respect to minors in possession of an explicit image of another minor, it is a defence to the crime if the minor did not solicit, purchase or procure such explicit image, and took reasonable steps to destroy the image or report the matter to law enforcement. In neither case would a minor need to register as a sex offender.
Law and Punishment
In general, under Nevada law it is a criminal offense to knowingly:
- Promote a performance of a minor in sexual conduct.
- Punishable by life in jail.
- Prepare, advertise or distribute any item or material that depicts a minor engaging in, or simulating, or assisting others to engage in or simulate, sexual conduct.
- Punishable by imprisonment of up to15 years, and/or a fine of not more than $15,000.
- Possess any film, photograph or other visual presentation depicting a person under the age of 16 years as the subject of a sexual portrayal or engaging in or simulating, or assisting others to engage in or simulate, sexual conduct.
- Punishable by imprisonment of up to 6 years, and/or a fine of up to $5,000.
Anyone convicted under the child pornography laws will be required to register as a sex offender.
New law only applies to minors.
Separate felony convictions for possession, distribution or creation of child pornography.
Up to 15 years in jail for creating or distributing child pornography and up to $15,000 fine..
Up to 6 years in jail for possession and up to $5,000 fine.
Register as a sex offender.
Latest News Concerning Sexting in Nevada
NBC News 4 | March 22, 2012
Las Vegas Review Journal | March 5, 2012
Las Vegas Review Journal | June 3, 2011
Las Vegas Sun | April 11, 2011
Nevada Appeal | April 7, 2011
RGJ | March 31, 2011
WCBS | March 14, 2011
Patch | February 28, 2011
FOX Las Vegas | May 6, 2010
KVBC | April 29, 2010
KRNV | June 12, 2009
FOX Las Vegas | April 14, 2009
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