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NJ Lawmaker Aims To Clarify Child Porn Laws In “Sexting”

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(Photo illustration by Ed Fischer)

(Photo illustration by Ed Fischer)

TRENTON, NJ (CBS) – Teens who send sexually explicit photos by cell phone or social networking sites could avoid harsh legal penalties if a bill in New Jersey becomes law.

“Sexting,” as it has become known, can ruin a young person’s reputation and threatens his or her future.

Take the case of the 14-year-old North Jersey girl who was arrested on child porn charges after posting salacious pics on MySpace.  She could have been forced to register as a sex offender, but was given a break.

“Kids will be kids.  They’ll make impulsive decisions,” notes New Jersey assemblywoman Pam Lampitt of Camden.  But, she says, such bad choices can have a lasting effect.

The bill she is sponsoring would allow first offenders to enter a program in the state attorney general’s office that would teach them about the consequences of what they have done.

“Not only educating the teen but also educating the parent or guardian as well about technology, the proper uses, and the decisions that they make,” Lampitt noted.

The bill was released from committee by a unanimous 6-0 vote, with support from Republicans and Democrats.  The measure now heads for a vote in the full Assembly.   No similar bill has been introduced this session in the state senate.

Watch the video…

Reported by Ian Bush, KYW Newsradio 1060.

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