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Connecticut Juvenile Laws Impacting Sexting

State of Connecticut Division of Criminal Justice. Connecticut Juvenile Laws Impacting Sexting. Presented by: Francis J. Carino, Supervisory Assistant State’s Attorney. True Colors XXV - March 2018. Telephones looked like this…. Once upon a time…. They had rotary dials;

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Connecticut Juvenile Laws Impacting Sexting

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  1. State of Connecticut Division of Criminal Justice • Connecticut Juvenile • Laws Impacting Sexting Presented by: Francis J. Carino, Supervisory Assistant State’s Attorney True Colors XXV - March 2018

  2. Telephones looked like this… Once upon a time… • They had rotary dials; • They were connected by wires; • The phones were kept in a stationary location, you didn’t carry them around with you; • When the phone rang, you picked up the receiver and talked into one end and listened from the other; • All you could do with the phone was have a conversation with another person;

  3. Cameras used film to record images… • Images could only be seen after developing the film, usually at the drug store; • Developing took days and the images might be viewed by the pharmacist; • To share the images, you had to carry around the print; • The images could only be shared with people actually present; • Images were difficult to manipulate;

  4. Then Polaroid cameras were created… • Images appeared in a few minutes; • They didn’t have to be developed at the drug store; • You could prevent others from seeing the images; • To share the images, you still had to carry around the print; • The images could still only be shared with people actually present and were still difficult to manipulate;

  5. There were child pornography cases. • They were predominately commercial operations aimed at an adult population. • Connecticut’s law defined child pornography simply as “any material involving a live performance or photographic or other visual reproduction of a live performance which depicts a minor in a prohibited sexual act.” • The laws were designed to protect children from sexual exploitation by unscrupulous adults.

  6. Cameras became digital… • Images appeared instantly; • They didn’t have to be developed at the drug store; • You could prevent others from seeing the images; • Images could be easily manipulated; • With the Internet, images could be shared electronically, with anyone, anywhere in the world; • Once shared, the images could be shared with anyone by anyone;

  7. And then there were smart phones… • Phones now take still & video content; • Content appears instantly; • It doesn’t have to be developed ; • Content is easily hidden; • Content is easily manipulated; • Phones connect to the Internet, the content can be shared instantly, electronically, with anyone, anywhere in the world; • Once shared, the content can be shared with anyone by anyone;

  8. As technology changed, so did the conduct. • What was once an illegal commercial enterprise for adults became a common practice among kids. • As the conduct changed, so did the law. • But the law can’t always protect kids from the dangers associated with the practice of sexting and the use of the Internet. • The ability to transmit digital images instantly to people all around the world also results in the loss of control over the images. • Digital images can be manipulated & accessed by persons the original sender never intended to have access.

  9. Now Connecticut law defines child pornography as: “any visual depiction including any photograph, film, videotape, picture or computer-generated image or picture, whether made or produced by electronic, digital, mechanical or other means, of sexually explicit conduct, where the production of such visual depiction involves the use of a person under sixteen years of age engaging in sexually explicit conduct.” • “Sexually explicit conduct” means actual or simulated (A) sexual intercourse, including genital-genital, oral-genital, anal-genital or oral-anal physical contact, whether between persons of the same or opposite sex, or with an artificial genital, (B) bestiality, (C) masturbation, (D) sadistic or masochistic abuse, or (E) lascivious exhibition of the genitals or pubic area of any person.

  10. Possessing Child Pornography • *Fewer depictions required if serious physical injury is involved • or if a video involving more than one child or more than one act. • For juvenile offenders under the age of 18 the maximum penalty is commitment to DCF for placement in a residential facility or CJTS for up to 18 months with a possible 18 month extension. • A juvenile, age 15 or older, charged with 1st, 2nd or 3rd degree possession, may, but probably won’t, be transferred to the adult criminal court.

  11. Defenses to charge of possession of child pornography: • The accused: • Possessed fewer than three depictions; and • Did not request the depictions; and • Promptly and in good faith, without keeping or showing them, except to law enforcement, took reasonable steps to destroy the depictions. • Or: • Possessed the depiction for bona fide artistic, medical, scientific, educational, religious, governmental or judicial purpose. • Or: • The acts of the accused are covered by the sexting law (CGS §53a-196h).

  12. Sexting – what it is and what it isn’t • Child Pornography & Sexting Statutes

  13. to a person under age 18 • any age under 18 • under age 16 • The Sexting Law CGS §53a-196h • under age 16 • The sexting law didn’t make sexting legal, it only reduced the crime to a misdemeanor. • P.A. 17-25 eliminated the minimum age restrictions effective 10/1/2017. • RECIPIENT: • age 13, 14, 15, 16 or 17 • receives a visual depiction of the sender, age 13, 14 or 15, engaged in sexually explicit conduct • by means of an electronic communication device; • SENDER: • age 13, 14 or 15 • knowingly and voluntarily transmits a visual depiction of themselves engaged in sexually explicit conduct • by means of an electronic communication device • to a person age 13, 14, 15, 16 or 17; “Sexually explicit conduct” means actual or simulated (A) sexual intercourse, (B) bestiality, (C) masturbation, (D) sadistic or masochistic abuse, or (E) lascivious exhibition of the genitals or pubic area.

  14. Dissemination of an intimate image (PA 15-213) • Intentionally disseminates by electronic or other means a photograph, film, videotape or other recorded image of: • the genitals, pubic area or buttocks of another person with less than a fully opaque covering of such body part, or the breast of such other person who is female with less than a fully opaque covering of any portion of such breast below the top of the nipple, or • another person engaged in sexual intercourse, and • without the consent of such other person, knowing that such other person understood that the image would not be so disseminated, and • such other person suffers harm as a result of such dissemination. • For purposes of this subsection, “disseminate” means to sell, give, provide, lend, trade, mail, deliver, transfer, publish, distribute, circulate, present, exhibit, advertise or otherwise offer. • CGS §53a-189c Class A misdemeanor • Doesn’t require “sexually explicit conduct” • and there are no age restrictions. • Still doesn’t address when the depiction does not show “sexually explicit conduct” • and is sent by the person in the depiction.

  15. Consequences of Sexting Emotional: • Fear • Betrayal • Long term impact Legal: • Juvenile delinquency • record • Possible probation • restrictions • Possible placement out • of home Social: • Harm to reputation • Isolation • Undesired attention • Sexual harassment • Outcast • Dating for the wrong • reasons • Impact on family & friends Education & Career • School applications • Extracurricular activities • Job applications

  16. Responding To Sexting • “Before You Text” • An education program, • developed in Texas, • adapted for use in Connecticut in situations where a juvenile have been involved in “sexting.” • Consists of seven modules that juveniles can complete, preferably with a parent, that discuss the various legal, social, emotional, educational and career consequences of “sexting.” • Can be found at www.francarino.com in the “Civilian Presentation/Training Modules” section of the home page.

  17. School Response to Bullying

  18. Bullying might be a crime if the communication, act or gesture is actually a crime. • DEFINITIONS OF “BULLYING” • CGS §10-222d now defines “bullying” as: • causes physical or emotional harm to such student or damage to such student's property, • by one or more students • OR • Written, Oral or Electronic Communication • places such student in reasonable fear of harm to himself or herself, or of damage to his or her property, • AND • repeatedly directed • OR • AND • OR • Physical Act or Gesture • at another student attending school in the same school district • creates a hostile environment at school for such student, • OR • infringes on the rights of such student at school, • OR • substantially disrupts the education process or the orderly operation of a school.

  19. Bullying might be a crime if the communication, act or gesture is actually a crime. • Bullying might be a hate crime if the communication, act or gesture is a crime and based on: • race • race • “Bullying” is also defined as: • color • religion • religion • ancestry • Written, Oral or Electronic Communication • national origin • national origin • based on any actual or perceived differentiating characteristic, such as: • gender • gender • OR • sexual orientation • sexual orientation • Physical Act or Gesture • gender identity or expression • gender identity or expression • socio-economic status • academic status • physical appearance • mental, physical, developmental or sensory disability • mental, physical, developmental or sensory disability “Cyberbullying” is bullying using the Internet, interactive and digital technologies, cellular mobile telephone or other mobile electronic devices or any electronic communications; • association with an individual or group who has or is perceived to have one or more of such characteristics

  20. Bullying Reporting Requirement • CGS §10-222d(b)(3) requires school employees who witness acts of bullying or receive reports of bullying to orally notify the safe school climate specialist or another school administrator, not later than one school day after such school employee witnesses or receives a report of bullying, and to file a written report not later than two school days after making such oral report. • CGS §10-222d(b)(4)-(18) sets forth rules for safe school climate specialists and administrators regarding the information received, investigations, notice to parents, preventive interventions, policies and procedures for reporting, notice to police, safe school climate plan and training.

  21. Bullying Reporting Requirement • Find out if you are deemed to be a “school employee.” • CGS §10-222d(8) “School employee” means (A) a teacher, substitute teacher, school administrator, school superintendent, guidance counselor, psychologist, social worker, nurse, physician, school paraprofessional or coach employed by a local or regional board of education or working in a public elementary, middle or high school; or (B) any other individual who, in the performance of his or her duties, has regular contact with students and who provides services to or on behalf of students enrolled in a public elementary, middle or high school, pursuant to a contract with the local or regional board of education;

  22. Francis J. CarinoSupervisory Assistant State’s AttorneyOffice of the Chief State’s Attorney300 Corporate PlaceRocky Hill, CT 06067Tel.: (860) 258-5826Fax: (860) 258-5858E-mail: francis.carino@ct.gov CT Juvenile Law website: www.francarino.com • Prepared by:

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