NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) – The Tennessee Legislature has passed a bill that would allow minors who send sexually explicit photos of themselves to others to face far less serious consequences than they do now.
Under current law, juveniles who email or text explicit photos can be charged with sexual exploitation of a minor, even if the pictures are consensual. Williamson County District Attorney Kim Helper said that’s the equivalent of child pornography and prosecutors are loathe to bring such serious charges in most cases.
Under the measure, minors could be charged with an unruly offense in juvenile court.
The House passed the measure last week. It passed in the Senate Wednesday by a vote of 26-2.
The bill was sponsored by Sen. Jack Johnson, a Republican from Franklin.