Electronic transmission of nude or partially nude images of minors by minors; penalty. (SB168)

Introduced By

Sen. Bill Stanley (R-Moneta) with support from co-patron Sen. Scott Surovell (D-Mount Vernon)


Passed Committee
Passed House
Passed Senate
Signed by Governor
Became Law


Electronic transmission of nude or partially nude images of minors by minors; penalty. Provides that a minor who knowingly transmits, distributes, publishes, or disseminates any sexually explicit visual material to another minor without the intent to harass, intimidate, or extort money or other pecuniary gain, by any means whatsoever on any device or through any media or through the use of a computer system, is guilty of a Class 1 misdemeanor. The bill also provides that any minor who knowingly possesses at least one but not more than 10 images containing sexually explicit visual material and such images are obtained with the consent of the depicted minor is guilty of a Class 2 misdemeanor. The bill authorizes the court to defer and dismiss a first offense of either provision. Read the Bill »


Bill Has Failed


12/28/2017Prefiled and ordered printed; offered 01/10/18 18100255D
12/28/2017Referred to Committee for Courts of Justice
01/24/2018Impact statement from DPB (SB168)
01/29/2018Reported from Courts of Justice with substitute (11-Y 4-N) (see vote tally)
01/29/2018Committee substitute printed 18106208D-S1
01/29/2018Incorporates SB607 (Surovell)
01/30/2018Constitutional reading dispensed (38-Y 0-N) (see vote tally)
01/31/2018Read second time
01/31/2018Reading of substitute waived
01/31/2018Committee substitute agreed to 18106208D-S1
01/31/2018Engrossed by Senate - committee substitute SB168S1
01/31/2018Engrossment reconsidered by Senate (40-Y 0-N) (see vote tally)
01/31/2018Passed by for the day
02/01/2018Read second time
02/01/2018Committee substitute reconsidered (39-Y 1-N) (see vote tally)
02/01/2018Committee substitute rejected 18106208D-S1
02/01/2018Reading of substitute waived
02/01/2018Floor substitute printed 18106471D-S2 (Stanley)
02/01/2018Substitute by Senator Stanley agreed to 18106471D-S2
02/01/2018Engrossed by Senate - floor substitute SB168S2
02/02/2018Passed by for the day
02/05/2018Read third time and passed Senate (35-Y 5-N) (see vote tally)
02/06/2018Impact statement from DPB (SB168S2)
02/08/2018Placed on Calendar
02/08/2018Read first time
02/08/2018Referred to Committee for Courts of Justice
02/23/2018Assigned Courts sub: Subcommittee #1
02/26/2018Subcommittee recommends passing by indefinitely (7-Y 1-N)
03/06/2018Left in Courts of Justice


Mary D. Devoy writes:

SB607-Surrovell was rolled into this Bill.

Then a substitute for SB168 was approved by Senate Courts of Justice Committee.

SB168 has all the same really bad problems SB607 has goo.gl/MYB5Se plus a new one.

SB168 addresses §18.2-374.5 of Virginia Code instead of §18.2-374.2:1 like SB607 did. I’m not sure if this matters in the end but that is a difference worth noting.

1. For transmission, distribution, publishing and dissemination of the image SB168 proposes a Class 1 misdemeanor instead of a Class 2. Possession is still proposed at a Class 2 misdemeanor. So Senators Stanley and Surovell have INCREASED the punishment for transmission compared to Surovell’s proposal. We should NOT be creating a new crime for consensual teen sexting.

2. SB168 still uses the term ‘minor’ so 18 and 19 years old’s will be eligible, this is absurd. Age-appropriate relationships of 16 and 17-year old’s with 18 and 19-year old’s should not be exempt. The term ‘minor should be removed and a 4-year age gap between the person in the image and the distributor or possessor should be inserted.

3. A maximum of 10 images means anyone with 11 or more images will still face felony Child Pornography charges with mandatory minimums prison sentences and either 25 years to life on the public VSP Sex Offender Registry. IF a maximum number of images is really needed make it 75 or 50 but not 10.

By creating a new misdemeanor offense even if registration as a Sex Offender is not mandated in Virginia, that does not mean it won’t be in another State. If the teen moves to one of the other 49 U.S. States and they would require registration as a Sex Offender for a similar offense in their State then they will force the Virginia teen to register there. If this happened even if the teen returned to the Commonwealth because of AWA and the Interstate Compact they’d be required to remain a Registered Sex Offender for life here too. Once a Registered Sex Offender in one State, you must register in all other States until your minimum timeframe has been met if not for life.

My Legislative Proposal (AKA Goal #10 http://goo.gl/xUJITi)is still the best way to stop prosecuting teenagers who consensually sext in Virginia.

• Add a 4- year Age-Gap allowance w/ a minimum age (a floor) of 12 or 13 years old to Virginia’s Child Pornography Statutes § 18.2-374 of Production, Distribution/Dissemination, Solicitation and Possession. This way age appropriate relationships don’t get swept up as a criminal act. If preferred a maximum age of 19 or 20 years old could be included for those who believe a 17 and 21-year-old shouldn’t be in a relationship.

2018’s SB168 is NOT the answer to decriminalizing Teen Sexting.