Laws Pertaining to Sexting in the State of Georgia
Currently, sexting falls under the State of Georgia’s child pornography laws. In general, a teenager, who creates, distributes or possesses a sexually explicit image, could be charged with a misdemeanor or felony depending on the facts and circumstances. If convicted for a felony, the sentence could be up to 20 years in prison, and the teenager’s name would appear on Georgia's sex offender registry for at least 15 years.
Georgia lawmakers have proposed a bill to address sexting between minors. In general, the proposed bill would make it illegal to electronically furnish, including by way of cellular phone, obscene material to minors. Lawmakers want to criminalize sexting but recognize that when sexting occurs between minors it is generally not to engage in child pornography and generally there should not be a need to register as a sex offender. As of today, such bill has not become law. Until this bill, or another bill that may address sexting, is signed into law teenagers who send explicit images of a minor could be prosecuted under the State’s child pornography laws.
Law and Punishment
In general, under Georgia’s Sexual Exploitation of Children statute, a person commits the offense of computer or electronic pornography if such person intentionally or willfully:
- Compiles, enters into, or transmits by means of computer or other electronic device;
- Makes, prints, publishes, or reproduces by other computerized or other electronic device;
- Causes or allows to be entered into or transmitted by means of computer or other electronic device; or
- Buys, sells, receives, exchanges, or disseminates any notice, statement, or advertisement, or any child´s name, telephone number, place of residence, physical characteristics, or other descriptive or identifying information for the purpose of offering or soliciting sexual conduct of or with an identifiable child or the visual depiction of such conduct.
- Conviction under any of the foregoing carries a penalty of up to 20 years in jail and up to a $10,000 fine
- Use of an electronic device to seduce, solicit, lure, or entice, or attempt to seduce, solicit, lure, or entice a child or another person believed by such person to be a child to commit a sexually explicit act. Conviction for this offense is a felony, unless the victim is 14 or 15 years of age and the offender is no more than 3 years older than the victim in which case the crime is a misdemeanor, and carries a fine of up to $25,000 and up to 20 years in prison.
There is a similar provision of the law that deals with verbal descriptions between a minor and an adult that are sexual in nature. Violation of this provision carries a similar penalty as using an electronic device to seduce or entice a child to commit a sexually explicit act except that the fine is up to $10,000 and carries a possible 10 year prison term.
3 to 20 years in jail.
Up to $25,000 in fines.
Register as a sex offender.
Latest News Concerning Sexting in Georgia
Your Black World | July 9, 2012
Accessnorthga.com | April 27, 2012
NBC 11 Atlanta | April 19, 2012
Roswell Patch | January 29, 2012
Atlanta Journal Constitution | October 27, 2011
Dalton Daily | June 30, 2011
The Citizen | June 5, 2011
The Atlanta Journal Constitution | May 12, 2011
NBC 11 | April 27, 2011
The Dahlonega Nugget | April 27, 2011
FOX 31 | April 26, 2011
NBC 41 WMGT | April 19, 2011
Colonnade | March 11, 2011
The Augusta Chronicle | February 28, 2011
CBS Atlanta | February 7, 2011
WSB Atlanta | March 4, 2010
Georgia Voice | October 14, 2010
MomLogic | May 31, 2009
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