‘Sexting’ legislation proposed to protect teens

Warren County, Ohio, Prosecutor Rachel Hutzel said advances in technology have surpassed laws that were written to protect juveniles. That’s why two Warren County state legislators, along with several local officials, introduced "sexting" legislation they say will "appropriately address sexting offenses" in Ohio, reports the Oxford Press. "We have hit the collision of juvenile lack of knowledge and the power of technology," Hutzel said. "It’s too late to go back, but we have to protect kids from this technology." State Rep. Ron Maag, R-Lebanon, and state Sen. Bob Schuler, R-Sycamore Twp., announced the legislation. They were joined by Cynthia Logan, mother of Jessica Logan, who committed suicide after her nude picture was widely forwarded amongst fellow teenagers; Patty Aftab, executive director of WiredSafety; and Kevin Bright, superintendent of the Mason School District. Maag said he wanted to introduce legislation that would make teenagers sending sexually provocative or nude pictures of themselves or others through a cell phone a first-degree misdemeanor. Under current law, he said, teens could be charged with a felony and forced to register as sex offenders, which he felt was an "extra burden" they didn’t need. "They did something stupid, but I don’t think anyone wants for them to be called sex offenders," Maag said. "This legislation will give prosecutors direction in how to deal with the matter."

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