Laws Pertaining to Sexting in the Commonwealth of PA
The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania lawmakers have proposed a law making sexting a second-degree misdemeanor for minors who intentionally or knowingly record, view, possess or transmit images of a minor (above the age of 13) engaged in sexually explicit conduct. First-time offenders would be subject to a summary charge, that would not be on their permanent record but the minor would be required to forfeit their electronic devices. Until the proposed legislation becomes law, minors may still be prosecuted under the Commonwealth’s child pornography laws. If convicted, an individual could receive jail time as well as may need to register as a sex offender.
Lawmakers have proposed making sexting its own crime. If successful, sexting would carry a misdemeanor charge for minors who intentionally or knowingly record, view, possess or transmit images of a minor engaged in sexually explicit conduct of a minor. Children, who are first time offenders would be subject to a summary charge, avoid jail time and would not receive a criminal record but would be required to surrender their cellular phone or other similar electronic device. In addition, the child would not be required to register as a sex offender.
Law and Punishment
Until lawmakers agree on a sexting statute, minors could be charged under the Commonwealth’s child pornography laws. In general, under Pennsylvania’s sexual abuse of children statute it is a felony to:
- Photograph, videotape, depict on computer or film sexual acts by a child under the age of 18 years.
- Disseminate photographs, videotapes, computer depictions and films of a minor engaged in a sexual act.
- Intentionally view or knowingly possess or control any book, magazine, pamphlet, slide, photograph, film, videotape, computer depiction or other material depicting a child under the age of 18 years engaging in a prohibited sexual act or in the simulation of such act.
If you are convicted under the statute you have to register as a sex offender. You could also be subject to up to 10 years in jail and/or a $25,000 fine if found guilty under the statute.
Up to 10 years in jail.
Up to a $25,000 fine.
Register as a sex offender.
Latest News Concerning Sexting in Pennsylvania
WPXI 11 | July 13, 2012
Triblive.com | June 7, 2012
Patch.com | May 16, 2012
Pittsburgh Post Gazette | April 19, 2012
Pocono Record | April 18, 2012
Patch.com | April 4, 2012
Patch.com | March 29, 2012
NBC 10 Philadelphia | March 28, 2012
CBS 2 KDKA | March 28, 2012
The Morning Call | July 11, 2012
TribLive News | February 10, 2012
Lower Macungie Patch | January 31, 2012
WFMZ | January 28, 2012
Lehigh Valley Live | January 20, 2012
WTAE | January 3, 2012
The Times Tribune | December 16, 2011
Pittsburgh Post Gazette | December 16, 2011
WBTV | December 3, 2011
PittsburghLive.com | November 16, 2011
PittsburghLive.com | November 7, 2011
DailyLocal.com | October 31, 2011
Patch | October 4, 2011
Post-Gazette | September 12, 2011
Patch | September 7, 2011
Daily Local News | August 22, 2011
Post-Gazette | August 4, 2011
North Hill Patch | June 21, 2011
The Inquirer | June 11, 2011
Lehigh Valley Live | June 9, 2011
Post-Gazette | June 7, 2011
Pittsburgh Tribune-Review | May 28, 2011
Politics PA | May 24, 2011
CBS Philadelphia | May 16, 2011
WPXI | May 6, 2011
ABC 27 WHTM | May 4, 2011
Lehigh Valley Live | April 19, 2011
TribLive | April 13, 2011
PennLive | March 21, 2011
Pittsburgh Tribune-Review | March 21, 2011
NBC Philadelphia | March 18, 2011
WFMZ Allentown | March 16, 2011
Bucks Local News | June 26, 2010
AOL | May 22, 2010
WGAL | October 6, 2009
EDGE | September 24, 2009
FOX News | January 13, 2009
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