CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- The state Legislature has banned sexting by minors.
The bill passed unanimously by the Senate on Friday defines sexting as any digital possession or transmission of sexually explicit images of a minor.
It states that when a minor does it, it is equal to an adult felony-level offense.
For a first sexting offense, the punishment would include a diversionary education program.
The bill says the Internet's permanence and huge potential audience give sexting unforeseen consequences and make it more serious than it would have been in a pre-digital age. It also references bullying and cyberbullying in explaining the gravity of sexting offenses.