Laws Pertaining to Sexting in the State of Utah
In 2009, Utah was one of the first States to pass a law where sexting between minors would be classified as a misdemeanor crime rather than a felony and the minor offender would not be required to register as a sex offender.
Under Utah’s child pornography laws it is a felony to produce, distribute or possess an image of a minor engaged in a sexually explicit act. Until Utah passed their sexting legislation minors engaging in sexting could have been found guilty of a felony and subject to receiving jail time and registering as a sex offender. In general, Utah amended their child pornography laws so that minors engaging in sexting would not be subject to the felony sentences which were deemed by legislators to be too harsh. In addition, because sexting between minors is considered a misdemeanor any minor charged under the statute would not have to register as a sex offender.
Law and Punishment
In general, Utah’s child pornography laws state:
- A person is guilty of sexual exploitation of a minor:
- When the person...
- Knowingly produces, possesses, or possesses with intent to distribute child pornography; or
- Intentionally distributes or views child pornography.
- For each minor depicted, and if more than one minor is depicted in the child pornography in violation of this section, the depiction of each individual minor in the child pornography is a separate offense; and
- Each time the same minor is depicted in different child pornography.
Misdemeanor offense if under the age of 18.
Disclosure of the crime on job applications and school admissions.
Teenagers 18 or older may face jail time if convicted.
Registration as a sex offender if 18 or older.
Latest News Concerning Sexting in Utah
Salt Lake Tribune | June 18, 2012
Huffungton Post | May 7, 2012
The Spectrum| July 14, 2011
The Salt Lake Tribune | May 14, 2011
KSL | March 29, 2010
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