A new state law in Texas aims to help prevent the sending of unwanted naked or sexually explicit images or videos electronically.
The law says that a person has broken the law if they knowingly send electronic messages that show any visual of the sender engaging in sexual conduct or with exposed “intimate parts.” The visuals break the law if they are not sent at the request or consent of the person receiving them.
Laura Christopherson, a senior division chief with the El Paso County Attorney’s Office, says the problem is widespread.
“Prior to this law, people could just send those pictures and there was nothing the person receiving them could do,” she said. “Now we have a law that says if someone sends you a picture and its unsolicited and it is a nude picture then you can go to law enforcement, file a report and the individual that sent you that picture can then be facing a fine.”
The law is a Class C misdemeanor, and carries a maximum of a 500 dollar fine.
Christopherson added that oftentimes, the recipient of these unsolicited messages doesn’t know the person sending them.
“The consequence can be very detrimental, could be very offensive to begin with,” she said. “Now you have this picture, and of course you’re going to delete it, but you can’t erase what you already saw.”