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Proposed sexting law would not impact teens for rest of their lives

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CANON CITY, Colo. --  A sexting scandal last week rocked Cañon City High School, as investigators found students had exchanged hundreds of naked pictures of themselves with their cellphones.

But Mike Harris with the Jefferson County District Attorney’s Child Sex Offender Internet investigations, said it’s happening at high schools across Colorado.

He said when he addresses student assemblies, 80 percent of the kids say they know of someone who has sent partially or fully naked pictures with their phone.

These cases fall under Colorado’s child pornography laws.  A teenager who sends a naked picture to another teen could possibly be charged with three felonies: Creating, possessing and distributing child pornography.

The possible penalties include time in a juvenile prison and being required to register as a sex offender.  The teen receiving the pictures faces similar legal consequences.

Some say the laws have not kept pace with technology and need to be changed so the punishment fits the crime.  Some Colorado legislators are working on a new sexting law.

It would make teen sexting a misdemeanor and it would not be classified as a sex offense.

“These are kids engaging in behaviors that juveniles engage in and they ought to be treated that way," 18th Judicial District Attorney George Brauchler said.

Several other states have adopted similar sexting laws.