A Minnesota law was drafted to combat “sexting” – sending sexually explicit content to another person through text messaging – between adults and minors, but now lawmakers and members of the legal community are saying it has gone too far. The law makes it illegal for anyone 18 years or older to use the internet, a phone, or a computer to engage in communication with a child, or someone the person reasonably believes to be a child, if that communication describes, mentions, or involves sexual activity.
The Minnesota Court of Appeals agreed that the statute was simply too vague and broad in its definition. It has deemed that the law was unconstitutional as it violated freedom of speech in many noncriminal circumstances.
For example: Someone could write a creative story with sexual content within and choose to post it to an online writer’s forum. If a minor under the age of 15 came across the website of their own volition and read the story, the author could technically be charged with child sex crimes. The same could be said of movies, music, photographs, and essentially any other creative content that was posted to an online source.
Resistance to the ruling of the Court of Appeals may move the law further up the legislative chain, ultimately reaching the Supreme Court. It is expected that the law will need some revision but would likely not be entirely removed. The case overall underlines the importance of correct language when drafting a law, as well as ample review before final approval. Simply using the wrong wordage or failing to make a law specific enough can ultimately make the statute unusable.
If you have been accused of engaging in sex crimes with a minor, possibly due to the overbearing generality of the “sexting” law of Minnesota, you need to take action to defend yourself. Contact Brockton D. Hunter P.A. and our Minneapolis criminal defense attorneys today. With our bold and aggressive legal strategies, backed by award-winning knowledge and know-how, we may be able to have your charges dismissed or considerably reduced.