PA 17-25—HB 6002

Judiciary Committee

AN ACT CONCERNING "SEXTING" BY A CHILD

SUMMARY: This act removes the lower age limit associated with the law concerning certain acts of possession or transmission of child pornography by a minor (“sexting”). In doing so, the act subjects minors under age 13 who possess or transmit child pornography as prohibited under these provisions to misdemeanor, rather than felony, charges. It designates as a class A misdemeanor (see Table on Penalties) such conduct by a (1) sender who is age 15 or younger and the subject of the depiction and (2) recipient who is age 17 or younger.

Under prior law, the class A misdemeanor classification applied only if the (1) sender was age 13 through 15 and the subject of the depiction and (2) recipient was age 13 through 17. Minors younger than age 13 were subject to felony charges for such acts and, if convicted, sex offender registration.

By law, conduct that constitutes sexting is the:

1. 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. 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 younger than age 16 engaging in sexually explicit conduct. Whether the subject of the depiction was younger than 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 possession 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.