New Sexting Bill Heads to Quinn

Law would not make sex offender designation mandatory

A bill headed to Gov. Pat Quinn's desk on Tuesday would give officials greater flexibility in punishing teens caught sexting.

Under existing state law, teens caught sharing or posting sexually explicit images of other juveniles can be charged as sex offenders.  House Bill 4583, which passed the Illinois Senate unanimously, allows for less-severe options, like counseling and community service.

A 16-year-old girl's decision to send a naked picture of herself to a male acquaintence's cell phone last December exploded into the largest sexting case Plainfield police have ever encountered.

And while Illinois law wouldn't apply in Indiana, the case of a 12-year-old boy and a 13-year-old girl in Valparaiso charged with child pornography and child exploitation in January illustrates the need, some say, for updated laws.

Quinn spokesman Bob Reed said the governor wants to review the bill before committing to sign it.

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