Sexting by minors now illegal in R.I.

July 14, 2011 at 2:39 PM
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PROVIDENCE, R.I., July 14 (UPI) -- Rhode Island Gov. Lincoln Chafee signed a bill making it illegal for minors to send sexually explicit messages or images from cellphones, his office said.

The bill was one of more than 150 Chafee signed into law this week. Others included raising mandatory school attendance to age 18 from 16, creating civil unions for gay couples, imposing new identification requirements for voting and moving the state's presidential primary to April 24.

Minor teenagers who send texted photographs or videos of themselves or their friends or partners will be charged under a statute that is not as severe as the state's child-pornography laws, the new law states. Adults who receive the images may be charged with possession of child pornography.

Moving the presidential primary election to the same date as the New York, Pennsylvania and Connecticut primaries could make Rhode Island more relevant in the presidential election, supporters said.

The voter-identification requirements oblige colleges and universities to submit to the state each year the names and addresses of graduating students to improve voter-registration files, The Providence (R.I.) Journal reported.

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