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Pending bills in the state Assembly and the Senate would create a diversionary program, by which minors who are charged with the creation, distribution or exhibition of nude photos can avoid prosecution by completing a course focusing on the consequences of such acts.
The sponsors say teenagers often engage in the practice -- sometimes known by the play on words "sexting" -- out of a psychological vulnerability, not a criminal mindset, and the law should reflect that.
The bills A-4069 (Pamela Lampitt, D-Camden) and S-2926 (James Beach,D-Camden), were introduced in June, just three months after the Passaic County Sheriff's Department charged a 14-year-old girl with distribution of child pornography for posting nude pictures of herself on MySpace. The girl ultimately was given probation and counseling.
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