The Register-Herald, Beckley, West Virginia

May 7, 2013

W.Va. adopts anti-sexting law for juveniles


— West Virginia is banning sexting by juveniles.

But the new law targeting that activity also seeks to offer offenders another chance.

Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin held a ceremonial signing for the legislation on Monday. It bars juveniles from making, having or distributing photos, video or other media that portrays a minor in an inappropriate sexual manner.

Juveniles who violate this law would be guilty of an act of delinquency.

But the legislation also asks the Supreme Court to develop an educational diversion program as an alternative to juvenile charges.

That program would show offenders the consequences of sexting, including the potential long-term harm on relationships and school and job opportunities.

The new law also does not require juveniles found guilty to register as sex offenders. It takes effect July 12.