COLUMBUS – State Representative Ron Maag (R- Lebanon) recently introduced legislation that would address minors sending nude photographs and videos through cell phones and other mobile devices, acts that have come to be known as “sexting.”

House Bill 53 would make the creation, exchange and possession of nude materials between minors by a telecommunications device a misdemeanor of the first degree. Additionally, any minors who show themselves in a state of nudity through text message may be charged with the same penalty.

“This is a growing problem that could affect many of our teenagers’ lives,” Rep. Maag said. “The current law isn’t an adequate way of dealing with those under 18 years old who participate in the act, so the definition of sexting must be clarified in the Ohio Revised Code.”

This legislation was originally introduced in April 2009 during the previous General Assembly. Currently, teenagers who participate in sexting could face felonious charges and be defined as sexual offenders for life. The new legislation would apply only to teens under the age of 18, separate from similar adult offenses that carry felonious charges.

The issue was brought to light after the death of Jessica Logan, an 18-year-old girl from a Cincinnati-area high school. Logan committed suicide after a nude picture of her was sent via text message to her boyfriend and was later spread throughout the school. Her mother, Cynthia Logan, has taken Jessica’s story on a national campaign to alert teens of the dangers and implications of sexting.


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