Laws Pertaining to Sexting in the State of Wisconsin

Wisconsin does not have a separate statute to address STATEsexting crimes. Therefore, in the State of Wisconsin, anyone (including a minor) who creates, distributes or possesses an image of a minor engaged in a sexually explicit activity may be prosecuted under the State’s child pornography laws and, if convicted, will generally serve time in jail and need to register as a sex offender.

Legislative Summary

Wisconsin has not created a separate statute for sexting crimes. Therefore, a minor who is caught creating, distributing or possessing a sexually explicit image of a minor (including an image of themselves) could be charged with a felony under the State’s child pornography statutes. If the minor is convicted they will generally receive a prison sentence and be required to register as a sex offender.

Law and Punishment

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

  • Persuade, induce, entice, coerce, cause or knowingly allow a minor to engage in a sexually explicit activity.
    • If convicted the individual will be guilty of a Class C felony and could receive up to 40 years in prison and/or up to a $100,000 fine. If the individual is under the age of 18 then they would be guilty of a Class F felony and could receive up to 12.5 years in prison and/or a fine up to $25,000.
  • Distribute, promote or finance the distribution of an image of a minor engaged in a sexually explicit activity.
    • If convicted the individual will be guilty of a Class C felony and could receive up to 40 years in prison and/or up to a $100,000 fine. If the individual is under the age of 18 then they would be guilty of a Class F felony and could receive up to 12.5 years in prison and/or a fine up to $25,000.
  • Knowingly possess an image of a minor engaged in a sexually explicit activity.
    • If convicted the individual will be guilty of a Class D felony and could receive up to 25 years in prison and/or up to a $100,000 fine. If the individual is under the age of 18 then they would be guilty of a Class I felony and could receive up to 3.5 years in prison and/or a fine up to $10,000.

If convicted, the offender will generally need to register as a sex offender

sobering reality

Register as sex offenders.

Up to $25,000 fine if under 18.

Up to 12.5 years in prison if under 18.

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