Lawmakers Considering Changes To Sexting Laws

DENVER (CBS4) – For the second year, Colorado lawmakers are considering changing the penalties for sexting, specifically teenagers who send naked pictures to each other.

Opinions, though, are about as divided as they might be between parents.

Currently, teenage sexting is a felony under state and federal law.

Lawmakers agree that needs to change, but they disagree on the degree of change.

xgr sexting 6pkg transfer frame 345 Lawmakers Considering Changes To Sexting Laws

Pete Lee (credit: CBS)

“I want to fully decriminalize what we refer to as consensual sexting, the voluntary and agreed sharing of graphic images between young people,” Rep. Pete Lee of Colorado Springs said.

xgr sexting 6pkg transfer frame 1101 Lawmakers Considering Changes To Sexting Laws

(credit: CBS)

Rep. Yeullin Willet of Grand Junction disagrees.

“We need to not say that’s OK because it’s not,” Willet said.

xgr sexting 6pkg transfer frame 988 Lawmakers Considering Changes To Sexting Laws

Yeullin Willet (credit: CBS)

Willet’s bill would make consensual sexting a misdemeanor or petty offense.

Colorado’s elected District Attorneys support it.

“There’s a lot of things kids do that we know they’re going to do regardless of the law, but that doesn’t mean that we authorize by law that they can do it,” said Tom Raynes of Colorado’s District Attorneys’ Council.

xgr sexting 6pkg transfer frame 1387 Lawmakers Considering Changes To Sexting Laws

Tom Raynes (credit: CBS)

The Colorado Coalition Against Sexual Assault says the bill would criminalize victims.

“It casts a net so broad that it captures more than just criminal behavior, and actually has the potential to capture victims of sexting, consensual activity, and abusive sexters,” said Raana Simmons.

xgr sexting 6pkg transfer frame 1596 Lawmakers Considering Changes To Sexting Laws

Raana Simmons (credit: CBS)

Willet says he and Lee are working together to find middle ground.

That compromise will likely involve mandatory education for all teenagers who engage in sexting as a way of avoiding criminal charges when it comes to consensual sexting. The two different on non-consensual. Lee’s bill makes most cases misdemeanors, while Willet’s gives District Attorneys discretion of misdemeanor or felony.

Both bills are in committee on Tuesday.

Comments

One Comment

  1. If the sending of nudes among minors is totally decriminalized then a whole lot more sexting would be going on and a lot of younger girls that might not want to participate would feel lots of pressure to join in. What about their rights? Plus more and more of the nudes would find their way to unsavory places and I don’t doubt that some of them might be sold by students. Peter’s Lee’s bill would be certainly be loved by pedophiles all across the state. At least he would be assured of getting the pedo vote next election.

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

More From CBS Denver

Weather App
Future Leaders
Together 4 Colorado

Watch & Listen LIVE