Penal Code 288.2 – Sexting.

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Penal Code 288.2 – Sexting

(a)(1) Every person who knows, should have known, or believes that another person is a minor, and who knowingly distributes, sends, causes to be sent, exhibits, or offers to distribute or exhibit by any means, including by physical delivery, telephone, electronic communication, or in person, any harmful matter that depicts a minor or minors engaging in sexual conduct, to the other person with the intent of arousing, appealing to, or gratifying the lust or passions or sexual desires of that person or of the minor, and with the intent or for the purposes of engaging in sexual intercourse, sodomy, or oral copulation with the other person, or with the intent that either person touch an intimate body part of the other, is guilty of a misdemeanor, punishable by imprisonment in a county jail not exceeding one year, or is guilty of a felony, punishable by imprisonment in the state prison for two, three, or five years. (2) If the matter used by the person is harmful matter but does not include a depiction or depictions of a minor or minors engaged in sexual conduct, the offense is punishable by imprisonment in a county jail not exceeding one year, or by imprisonment in the state prison for 16 months, or two or three years. (3) For purposes of this subdivision, the offense described in paragraph (2) shall include all of the elements described in paragraph (1), except as to the element modified in paragraph (2).

(b) For purposes of this section, “sexual conduct” has the same meaning as defined in subdivision (d) of Section 311.4.

(c) For purposes of this section, “harmful matter” has the same meaning as defined in Section 313.

(d) For purposes of this section, an intimate body part includes the sexual organ, anus, groin, or buttocks of any person, or the breasts of a female.

(e) Prosecution under this section shall not preclude prosecution under any other provision of law.

(f) It shall be a defense to any prosecution under this section that a parent or guardian committed the act charged in aid of legitimate sex education.

(g) It shall be a defense in any prosecution under this section that the act charged was committed in aid of legitimate scientific or educational purposes.

(h) It does not constitute a violation of this section for a telephone corporation, as defined in Section 234 of the Public Utilities Code, a cable television company franchised pursuant to Section 53066 of the Government Code, or any of its affiliates, an Internet service provider, or commercial online service provider, to carry, broadcast, or transmit messages described in this section or perform related activities in providing telephone, cable television, Internet, or commercial online services.

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