Laws Pertaining to Sexting in the State of Oregon

Currently in the State of Oregon, anyone - regardless of Oregonage - 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 be incarcerated and will need to register as a sex offender. Recently, legislation was proposed in the Oregon State Senate that would reduce penalties for minors caught sexting.

Legislative Summary

In February 2011, legislation was introduced in the Oregon State Senate that, if passed, would create the offense of inappropriate use of a sexual image. Under this offense, a minor and individuals who are 3 years older than the minor who is the subject of the image would receive a reduced sentence if they are convicted under the statute. The proposal also creates the crime of inappropriate use of a sexual image. If convicted of inappropriately using a sexual image, the offender could receive up to 1 year in jail and/or up to a fine of $6,250.

In December 2010 another measure became law in Oregon that increased the penalties on individuals who commit multiple offenses under the child pornography statute. In general, a person who sends two images of a minor engaged in a sexual act at two different times can be charged for two counts. The second count will carry a sentence of 25 years in jail, if convicted.

Until the proposed sexting bill becomes law or another similar type bill were to become law, minors who are caught sending, receiving or taking images of a minor engaged in sexually explicit activities can be prosecuted under the State’s child pornography laws.

Law and Punishment

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

  • Encouraging child sexual abuse in the first degree if the person:
    • Knowingly develops, duplicates, publishes, prints, disseminates, exchanges, displays, finances, attempts to finance or sells any visual image of sexually explicit conduct involving a child or possesses such matter with the intent to develop, duplicate, publish, print, disseminate, exchange, display or sell it; and
    • Knows or is aware of and consciously disregards the fact that creation of the visual image of sexually explicit conduct involved child abuse.
  • Encouraging child sexual abuse in the first degree is a Class B felony and punishable by up to 10 years in jail and/or up to $250,000 fine.
  • Encouraging child sexual abuse in the second degree if the person:
    • Knowingly possesses or controls or knowingly pays, exchanges or gives anything of value to obtain or view any image of sexually explicit conduct involving a child, for the purpose of arousing or satisfying the sexual desires of the person or another person; and
    • Disregards the fact that the image of the sexually explicit conduct involved child abuse; or
    • Pays or exchanges something of value to observe a child engaged in sexually explicit conduct and consciously disregards the fact that the conduct constitutes child abuse.
  • Encouraging child sexual abuse in the second degree is a Class C felony and punishable by up to 5 years in jail and/or up to $125,000 fine.
  • A person commits the crime of encouraging child sexual abuse in the third degree if the person:
    • Knowingly possesses or controls or knowing purchases any image containing sexually explicit conduct involving a child for the purpose of arousing or satisfying the sexual desires of the person or another person; and
    • Knows or fails to be aware of a substantial and unjustifiable risk that the creation of the visual recording of sexually explicit conduct involved child abuse
    • Encouraging child sexual abuse in the third degree is a Class A misdemeanor and punishable by up to 1 year in jail and up to a $6,250 fine.
    • It is a felony to use sexually explicit images of a child to induce a child to participate in sexual activities. If convicted, a person could receive up to 10 years in jail and/or a $250,000 fine.

If an individual is convicted of a felony sex crime under Oregon law they will be required to register as a sex offender.

sobering reality

Separate felony convictions for creation, distribution or possession.

10 years to 1 year in jail on first conviction.

Second conviction is an automatic 25 years in jail.

Fines up to $250,000.

Register as a sex offender.

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