Pa. Senate OKs bill to punish kids for 'sexting'

The entry "sexting," photographed in New York, Friday, Aug. 10, 2012, is one about a hundred new additions in the 11th edition of Merriam-Webster's Collegiate Dictionary. (AP Photo/Richard Drew)

October 17, 2012 2:26:04 PM PDT
State senators have given their approval to a bill to create criminal penalties for minors who transmit nude or sexually explicit images of themselves or other youths.

The bill passed the Senate, 37-12, and was sent to the House of Representatives.

The bill is designed to punish kids 17 or younger for the practice known as "sexting."

It would impose either a summary offense or a misdemeanor, depending on the situation. It would also punish a minor who knowingly possesses or views a sexually explicit image of another youth 12 or older.

The punishment is more severe if a minor creates an image of another youth without their knowledge and consent, and transmits it with the intent to coerce, intimidate or harass them.