Unlawful Electronic Transmission of Sexually Explicit Material

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Unlawful Electronic Transmission of Sexually Explicit Material

Sending and receiving sexually explicit material is common practice amongst adults of all age groups. Transmission of these images can quickly become a crime in many situations, including when the recipient does not consent to receiving this explicit content. It is illegal to send sexually explicit to an individual who did not request consent for receiving the content. Sexually explicit material may include images of intimate areas, sexual conduct, and/or suggestive nudity.

How is Sexually Explicit Material Defined?


It is illegal to send sexually explicit via content via any digital means of transmission. Section 21.19. of sex crime laws cite that the unlawful electronic transmission of sexually explicit material applies in the following situations.


Illegal Visual Material Depicts:


unlawful electronic transmission of sexually explicit material

(a) any person engaging in sexual conduct or with the person’s intimate parts exposed; or

(b) covered genitals of a male person that are in a discernibly turgid state.

This charge is legitimate in cases when the person receiving the images did not request them and/or express content. This also applies to situations when the individual sending them has reason to believe that the individual does not approve of their receival.

The law defines intimate parts as the genitals, pubic region, anus, butt, and/or female nipples. Sexual conduct applies to actual or simulated sexual intercourse, bestiality, masturbation, or sadomasochistic abuse.


Is Sexting Considered Transmission of Material?


Sexting generally refers to sharing sexually explicit images, messages, and/or other content via text messaging (SMS). This includes images of full or  partial nudity, sexually suggestive, or other explicit content.

Sending sexually explicit images or other visual content via text messages, or while sexting, can be considered the unlawful transmission of sexually explicit material. This can occur when the person receiving the sexual material claims that they did not express consent to receive these images.

Sexting can result in severe and serious charges if images are sent or received to a minor under the age of 18. This can result in additional and severe felony charges, including solicitation of a minor and the possession of child pornography. These criminal allegations may occur even when the defendant is unaware that the person receiving the images is a minor.

What Are the Penalties for Unlawful Electronic Transmission of Sexually Explicit Material?


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These charges can result in a Class C misdemeanor which possesses the risk of a fine of up to $500.

Section 21.19. (d) states:

If conduct that constitutes an offense under this section also constitutes an offense under any other law, the actor may be prosecuted under this section or the other law.

From this clause, we can determine that charges for the electronic transmission of sexually explicit material may exist concurrently with additional charges.


Enhanced Charges for Transmitting Sexually Explicit Material


These charges could be enhanced, and significantly harsher penalties in certain situations. sent these explicit images to a minor or used these images as blackmail against another individual.

Display of Harmful Material to a Minor


The transmission of sexually explicit or nude photos to an online location where a minor may be exposed to this content can be a crime. This is illegal and can result in significantly increased criminal charges when a minor is exposed and harmed by these images.

Material That is Considered Harmful to Minors Includes:


  •  Nude Images
  • Sexual Activity (1 or more Persons)
  • Material Deemed to Have No Value to Minors

This involves accidental exposure of sexually explicit material on the internet via chat rooms, social media, and other online applications.

Display of harmful material to a minor is a Class A misdemeanor and can easily be evaluated to a felony charge in many situations.

For example, this could quickly become a felony if the defendant intentionally sent these sexual materials to a minor.