Is there a law on sending inappropriate pictures in Idaho?
Idaho does not have specific sexting laws or statutes. But, the state has child porn laws, harassment laws, revenge porn laws, federal sexting laws, and solicitation laws. What does this all mean? Find out below.
- Taking reasonable steps to report sexts sent by a minor is an affirmative defense.
- Sending sexually explicit pictures or videos is a misdemeanor if the sender and receiver are minors.
- Adult-minor solicitation via electronic device is a felony in Idaho.
Idaho sexting laws summary
In the absence of sexting laws, prosecutors in Idaho rely on statutes including voyeurism, child pornography, sexual exploitation of a child, and related laws to address teen sexting. The worst that could happen is a teenager may face charges as an adult, which would require the individual to spend time behind bars and register into the state’s sex offender registry. To understand why sexting is a serious offense in Idaho, we must look at the state’s definition of child porn.
Idaho code 76-1410 “internet crimes against children” grants ICAC (Internet Crimes against Children Taskforce) the responsibility and authority to conduct a state program for the investigation and prosecution of child porn. ICAC warns that teenagers sharing nudes and sexually explicit videos may face criminal charges. The sender, requester, and sharer may face Creation, Possession, and Distribution of child pornography charges. What you must remember about Idaho is that child pornography falls under Idaho code 18-1507 (2) “sexual exploitation of a child.”
The code reads in part, quote, “1) A minor/child who, without being induced by coercion, manipulation or fraud, creates or causes to be created any photographic, electronic or video content of said minor child that would be characterized under any of the classifications defined in section 18-1507(1)(c) through (j), Idaho Code, and knowingly and willfully distributes it to another person or persons through electronic or other means or causes it to appear in a form where the distributing minor has reason to believe another will view it is guilty of a misdemeanor provided that the image was communicated in a form that there was a single recipient.”
For a first offense, the crime is a misdemeanor, for a second or subsequent offense the crime escalates into a felony.
What to remember:
- minors who knowingly distribute sexually explicit images or videos of another minor are guilty of a misdemeanor for a first offense.
- It is a felony to use sexually explicit images or videos of a child to threaten, coerce, control or cause embarrassment to the victim depicted.
- Taking reasonable steps to report explicit content sent by a minor to law enforcement, school, or the sender’s guardians is an affirmative defense.
Is sexting legal in Idaho?
Yes and no.
Amongst consenting adults, the sending and receiving of inappropriate pictures -is legal. However, sexting amongst minors and sexting between minors and adults is prohibited.
As mentioned, teens facing voyeurism and/or felony possession of child pornography may be tried in adult court. In adult court, the teen will face adult penalties and mandatory registration into Idaho’s sex offender registry.
Idaho statute 18-1507 “children and vulnerable adults” defines sexual exploitation of a child as:
A person commits sexual exploitation of a child if the individual knowingly possesses or accesses any sexually exploitative material. Furthermore, anyone who permits, causes, or induces a child to engage in, or -be used for, any sexual conduct with intent to create sexually exploitative material is guilty of a felony.
It is also a felony to distribute child porn/sexually exploitative material through any means, be it physical transfer, via an electronic device, and so on.
Felony sexual exploitation of a child is punishable by a $10000 fine and or up to ten years imprisonment. Causing or inducing a child to engage in sexually explicit conduct or, promoting, preparing, publishing, financing, and distribution of sexually exploitative material is a felony punishable by up to thirty years in prison and or a $50000 fine.
What to remember:
- If the minor depicted in the photo or video is not-greater-than three-years-younger than the possessor, the possessor did not coerce or manipulate or acquire the picture using fraudulent means, or if the depicted minor willingly sent the image to the possessor without solicitation, the possessor is guilty of a misdemeanor.
- Creation with intent to distribute sexually exploitative material depicting a minor is a felony punishable by up to 30 years in prison.
- Each image or video may constitute a separate offense.
Remember statute 18-1507 defines sexually exploitative material as, “any image, photograph, motion picture, video, print, negative, slide, or other mechanically, electronically, digitally or chemically produced or reproduced visual material which shows a child engaged in, participating in, observing, or being used for explicit sexual conduct, or showing a child engaging in, participating in, observing or being used for explicit sexual conduct, in actual time, including, but not limited to, video chat, webcam sessions or video calling.”
Idaho sexting laws: Are unsolicited pictures illegal in Idaho?
Sending unsolicited sexts or sexually explicit images is a misdemeanor or felony in Idaho under statute18-6710 “Use of Telephone to Annoy, Terrify, Threaten, Intimidate, Harass or Offend by Lewd or Profane language, Requests, or Suggestions.
What you need to remember about this statute is:
- Repeated Anonymous phone calls are a misdemeanor punishable by up to one year in jail.
- The use of profane or lewd language or making obscene proposals via phone is a misdemeanor.
- Both crimes may escalate into felony charges if the offense is repeated.
Under 18-6609 “Crime of Video Voyeurism.” The statute makes it a crime to make sexually explicit videos or pictures available by any means. It reads in part “A person is guilty of video voyeurism when, with the intent of arousing, appealing to or gratifying the lust or passions or sexual desires of such person or another person, or for his own or another person’s lascivious entertainment or satisfaction of prurient interest, or for the purpose of sexually degrading or abusing any other person, he uses, installs or permits the use or installation of an imaging device at a place where a person would have a reasonable expectation of privacy, without the knowledge or consent of the person using such place.”
Remember voyeurism is a felony in Idaho, meaning using a smartphone to take upskirt photos or photos of anyone who has a reasonable expectation of privacy is punishable by prison time and a fine.
What to remember
- Victims may take civil action against the offender to recover damages, attorney fees, and litigation costs.
What about revenge porn?
Persons accused of revenge porn in Idaho may face charges under the state’s voyeurism laws. If the victim is under 18, prosecutors may decide to charge the accused with child porn possession and distribution.
Idaho sexting laws and solicitation of a minor
It is a felony for an adult to knowingly use an electronic device or the internet to solicit, seduce, lure, persuade or entice a minor to participate in sexually explicit conduct, says 18-1509A. the statute also says that if found guilty of enticing a minor through any communication device, the punishment is not more than fifteen years in prison.
What to remember
- Law enforcement may use online platforms or communication devices to lure potential offenders. Thus entrapment is not a defense if the accused knew or should have known that the person he was communicating with was a minor.
- Online solicitation of a minor is a felony in Idaho.
Navigating these laws on your own is difficult, we recommend consulting with an experienced local defense attorney today.
Other Idaho Laws