OLR Bill Analysis

HB06002

AN ACT CONCERNING "SEXTING" BY A CHILD.

SUMMARY

This bill removes the lower age limit to the law concerning certain acts of possessing or transmitting child pornography by a minor (“sexting”) so that individuals under age 13 who possess or transmit child pornography as prohibited under these provisions are subject to misdemeanor, rather than felony, charges. Under current law, such acts are class A misdemeanors if the sender is the subject of the depiction and between ages 13 and 15 and the recipient is between ages 13 and 17. Individuals who do not fall within these age ranges are subject to felony charges for such acts and, if convicted, may have to register on the sex offender registry.

The bill applies to conduct by a recipient who is under age 17 and sender who is (1) under age 15 and (2) the subject of the depiction. Under the bill, as under current law, such conduct (sexting) is

1. the knowing possession of a visual depiction of child pornography that the subject of the depiction knowingly and voluntarily sent to the recipient by an electronic device capable of transmitting a visual depiction, including a cell phone, computer or computer network or system; and

2. the knowing and voluntary transmission, by means of such an electronic device, of a visual depiction of child pornography.

EFFECTIVE DATE: October 1, 2017

BACKGROUND

Definitions

By law, “child pornography” means any visual depiction, including any photograph, film, videotape, picture, or computer-generated image or picture, produced by electronic, digital, mechanical, or other means, of sexually explicit conduct, where the production involves the use of a person under age 16 engaging in sexually explicit conduct. Whether the subject of the depiction was under age 16 at the time it was created is a question to be decided by the trier of fact.

A “visual depiction” includes undeveloped film and videotape and information of any kind in any form, including computer software, capable of conversion into a visual image, and includes encrypted data (CGS 53a-193).

Possession of Child Pornography

The felony offense of child pornography is divided into three degrees, depending on the number of visual images that the defendant knowingly possesses. The offenses range from a class B to a class D felony.

Judiciary Committee

Joint Favorable

Yea

39

Nay

0

(03/29/2017)