Sexting bill passes Senate Communications Committee

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A bill easing the penalties for “sexting” unanimously passed the Senate Communications, Energy and Public Utilities Committee on Monday, leaving it with just one stop to go, reports the News Service of Florida. “Sexting” means sending sexually explicit messages or photographs electronically. The bill (SB 888) aims to create softer penalties for minors caught sexting. Under current law, a minor caught transmitting sexual photos of another minor faces a felony conviction and registration as a sex offender. Under the bill, minors would face small fines and would not have to register as a sex offender, though the penalties escalate with repeat offenders. The penalties would increase slightly faster under an amendment approved by the committee, but minors would still be guilty of no more than a third-degree felony. The bill now heads to the Senate Budget Committee before heading to the floor.

Peter Schorsch is the President of Extensive Enterprises and is the publisher of some of Florida’s most influential new media websites, including SaintPetersBlog.com, FloridaPolitics.com, ContextFlorida.com, and Sunburn, the morning read of what’s hot in Florida politics. SaintPetersBlog has for three years running been ranked by the Washington Post as the best state-based blog in Florida. In addition to his publishing efforts, Peter is a political consultant to several of the state’s largest governmental affairs and public relations firms. Peter lives in St. Petersburg with his wife, Michelle, and their daughter, Ella.