Bill aims to spare teens from felony for sexting

FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) – Teenagers caught sending nude photographs of themselves or their friends via cell phones or online would be spared a felony offense under a bill advancing in the Kentucky General Assembly.

The measure dealing with so-called sexting cleared the Senate Judiciary Committee on Thursday.

The bill applies to youngsters under age 18. The proposal calls for a violation punishable by fines for a first offense. Subsequent offenses would be a misdemeanor that could lead to fines and time in juvenile detention.

Sen. Joe Bowen, the bill’s lead sponsor, says prosecutors currently confronted by teen sexting cases have the option of filing felony charges or nothing. And convictions could result in registry as a sex offender.

Bowen says his bill aims to punish young offenders without saddling them with a felony.