The Norman Transcript

Government

March 6, 2014

Bill aims to loosen teen sexting penalties

OKLAHOMA CITY — Oklahoma House Bill 2541, authored by state Rep. Terry O’Donnell, looks to reduce penalties for sexting, teens exchanging sexually explicit messages and/or photographs via electronic devices.

Right now in Oklahoma, anyone convicted of sexting-style offenses are immediately labeled sex offenders and face felony charges under Oklahoma’s child pornography laws.

“Due to the draconian penalties under current Oklahoma law, I discovered that a number of law enforcement agencies and prosecutors were simply choosing not to take any action against the teen offenders,” said Rep. O’Donnell, R-Catoosa. “This measure is a modern solution to the ever-changing face of technology and problems stemming from ways in which teenagers communicate.”

Instead of facing such severe charges, HB 2541 states that any individual under 18 years of age who engages in the transmission of obscene material or child pornography via electronic means with another minor over the age of 13 shall be guilty of a misdemeanor.

A fine for the offense between $500 and $1,000 may be imposed upon the juvenile offenders, depending upon the circumstance of the crime. The measure also empowers the court to order the offender and his or her parent or guardian to complete an education course regarding the legal and social consequences of sexting.

The measure gained bipartisan support in the House, passing 92-0. It now heads to the state Senate for further consideration.

Breaking news, severe weather alerts, AMBER alerts, sports scores from The Norman Transcript are available as text messages right to your phone or mobile device. You decide which type of alerts you want to receive. Find out more or to signup, click here.

1
Text Only | Photo Reprints
Government
  • Fracking Operation Norman library to host community dialogue about fracking

    Are Oklahoma oil companies an oligarchy that is controlling state policy? Is fracking safe? These and other topics will be the subject of an upcoming Fracking Forum from 7 to 8:30 p.m. Aug. 11 in the Norman Public Library’s Lowry Room, 225 ...

    July 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • City manager calls Moore strong while addressing Chamber

    MOORE — Moore’s City Manager Steve Eddy could have quoted Dickens: “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times.” Eddy, with help from Mayor Glenn Lewis, reported on Tuesday on the State of the City to the Moore Chamber of ...

    July 23, 2014

  • walmart City leaders say ‘yes’ to Wal-Mart supercenter postponement

    Despite complaints that a postponement request was in the eleventh hour, a zoning change in east Norman was put on hold Tuesday night. The proposal to rezone property at Cedar Lane Road between 24th Avenue Southeast and Highway 77 ...

    July 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • Moore City Council paves way for Sam’s Club location

    MOORE — The Moore City Council approved a $5 million bond Tuesday to be repaid with sales tax and utility revenues. “A good amount of street improvements needs to be done,” Moore City Manager Steve Eddy said. “This will be paid for with ...

    July 22, 2014

  • Another brick in the Wal-Mart

    Norman could soon have five Wal-Mart stores, including three supercenters and two neighborhood markets. A proposal for the newest supercenter will come before the Norman City Council at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday via a request for a zoning change on ...

    July 20, 2014

  • Local group celebrates ruling

    A local group, Mothers of Many, expressed its elation with Friday’s 10th Circuit Court ruling striking down Oklahoma’s state ban on same-sex marriage....

    July 20, 2014

  • Leftover loss still hurting

    OKLAHOMA CITY — Cities, counties and school districts remain frozen out of a federal program that has sent millions of dollars worth of trenchers, trailers, semis, bulldozers, boats and forklifts and other equipment over the years....

    July 19, 2014

  • City and state briefs

    Transportation needs listed The White House released a new report this week from the Council of Economic Advisers and National Economic Council on the long-term economic benefits of transportation investment and why conditions in the ...

    July 17, 2014

  • Griffin Park 6 Proposal requests improving, expanding youth sports facilities

    Improving and expanding Norman’s youth sports facilities will generate revenue in tourism dollars, say advocates of Norman Forward, a grassroots initiative launched last week. The package proposed by Norman business leaders and community ...

    July 16, 2014 1 Photo

  • Norman sales tax slump not an indicator for FYE 2015

    Norman sales tax collections were disappointingly low this month, kicking off the new fiscal year below budget. The Oklahoma Tax Commission deposited $5,439,309 in sales tax receipts for Norman on July 9. The Public Safety Sales Tax ...

    July 11, 2014