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New law makes unwelcome sexts a crime

Posted: 5:46 PM, Sep 04, 2019
Updated: 2019-09-04 18:53:45-04
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CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — A new state law that went into effect on Sept. 1 has people thinking twice before they hit “send” on sexually explicit text messages.

When Gov. Greg Abbott signed House Bill 2789 into law, it made sending unsolicited explicit pictures to others illegal. First ADA Matt Manning defines what this law means.

"So the way the statute reads is any material that depicts a person in a sexual act, or shows genitals or intimate parts exposed," he said.

Sending unwarranted naked pictures is a Class C misdemeanor, a violation that can lead to a fine of up to $500 in all modes of contact: texting, dating apps, social media, and any other form of electronic communication.

"If you send an unwanted pic to someone's cell phone, there will be consequences and we will take it seriously,” Manning said. “People have a right to have peace in their cell phones, digital devices, social media, and where you disturb that peace, we're going to do what we can to hold you accountable."

It's important to keep text messages and any evidence in the case that someone does send you something explicit.

"Law enforcement works up a case and they bring it to our office,” Manning said. “They'll obviously investigate, so if you have the means of either screen-shoting, or otherwise transmitting it to law enforcement, making a report would be the best way to go."

The district attorney's office also encourages you to report anyone who posts an illicit photo of you or someone you know on the internet.