Status Summary

First reading, referred to Human Services & Early Learning on 1.30.19. Public hearing scheduled in the House Committee on Human Services & Early Learning on 2.1.19 at 8:00 a.m. Executive session scheduled, but no action was taken in the House Committee on Human Services & Early Learning on 2.6.19. Executive action taken in the House Committee on Human Services & Early Learning on 2.8.19; 1st substitute bill passed. Referred to Rules for Review on 2.14.19. (updated 2.15.19)

Legislative Session

2019

Status

In Progress

Sponsor

Frame

This bill establishes the Responsible Teen Communications Act.

The legislature determines that the exchange of intimate images by minors is increasingly common, and such actions may lead to harm and long-term consequences. Therefore, this bill intends to develop age-appropriate prevention and interventions to prevent harm and to hold youth accountable who harm others through exchange of intimate images.

A multitude of stakeholders are included in this act, including the WA Coalition of Sexual Assault Programs and DCYF, in order to organize a work group to make recommendations regarding age-appropriate prevention and intervention strategies to address potential harms caused by the exchange of intimate images by minors by December 1st, 2019.

Section 3 of this bill amends RCW 9.68A.050 to specify that individuals affected under this section are 18 years of age or older, thus removing minors from this chapter.

However, a new section is added to RCW 9.68A to include that:

  • A person under 18 commits the crime of a minor dealing in depictions of another minor 13 years of age or older engaged in sexually explicit conduct in the first or second degree when he/she knowingly distributes, publishes, transfers, disseminates, or exchanges a visual or printed matter that depicts another minor 13 years of age or older in an act of sexually explicit conduct;
    • This is considered a gross misdemeanor.
  • A person under age 18 commits the crime of minor dealing in depictions of another minor 12 years of age or younger engaged in sexually explicit conduct in the first or second degree when he/she knowingly distributes, publishes, transfers, disseminates, or exchanges a visual or printed matter that depicts another minor 12 years of age or younger in an act of sexually explicit conduct;
    • This is considered a class B felony punishable under RCW chapter 9A.20.
  • Minor financing or selling depictions of another minor engaged in sexually explicit conduct is a class B felony as well.

This section does not apply to a person under 18 years of age who finances, sells, develops, duplicates, publishes, prints, exchanges or possesses a visual or printed matter that depicts themselves engaged in an act of sexually explicit conduct.

Furthermore, RCW 9.68A.060 and 9.68A.070 are amended to exclude minors. RCW 9.68A.075 is amended to include that this section does not apply to a minor who intentionally views visual or printed matter depicting a minor 13 years or older engaged in sexually explicit conduct or themselves.

Finally, new sections are added to RCW chapters 9.68A and 9A.86 to include that any minor who possesses any depictions of any other minor engaged in an act of sexually explicit conduct or intimate images forfeits any right to continued possession and any court exercising jurisdiction shall order forfeiture of the depictions or images to the custody of law enforcement.