Va. Senate passes bill that could make teen sexting a misdemeanor instead of felony

RICHMOND, Va. – The Virginia Senate has passed a sexting bill that would make minors electronically sending nude or partially nude photos to other minors a misdemeanor.

The charges are now felonies and Senator Stanley’s office said juveniles with misdemeanor charges are more likely to be expunged rather than a felony charge that stays on their record forever.

Stanley’s office said the bill passed 35-5 and it now goes to the House for a committee to hear February 13.

Newport News Police have previously warned that teen sexting is on the rise.

“It’s an ongoing, increasing kind of a problem and it is a crime,” said Lou Thurston, Public Information Officer for the Newport News Police Department. “There’s probably a ton more that go unreported.”

Sexting is the sending or receiving of explicit images using a cell phone or the internet. According to police, it usually occurs between two or three people, but there are times images can be shared over and over.