“Sexting,” or sending and receiving sexually explicit text messages, has become common in the digital age. If someone sends you an unsolicited sext message, however, he or she has broken the law in Kansas. It is also against the law to circulate sexually explicit content to others without the subject’s permission or consent. As a victim of a violated sexting law in Kansas, you may be entitled to financial compensation.
What Is Sexting?
Sexting is the term for sending or receiving messages of a sexual nature through an electronic means of communication; typically, text messages, but also social media, email or instant messages. The digital transfer of sexual content can refer to nude photographs, sexually explicit videos or words of a sexual nature. Sexting is typically done with a reasonable expectation of privacy between two or more parties. It is an exchange of messages or images on a private account, such as a personal email or text message.
What Are Kansas’s Sexting Laws?
Sexting between two consenting adults is legal in Kansas. However, if sexually explicit messages fall outside of the parameters of two consenting adults sending and receiving sexts, it may go against state law. Kansas has several laws that make certain types of sexting and digital sexual harassment illegal. Below is a summary of some of them:
- Sending unsolicited sexts. Kansas Revised Statute 60-31a02 defines harassment as committing a knowing and intentional act that serves no legitimate purpose and seriously alarms, annoys, torments or terrorizes a victim. This definition can cover sending unsolicited sexually explicit messages or images to a victim.
- Breaching a victim’s privacy. KRS 21-6101(8) makes it a crime to knowingly and without lawful authority intercept a private message, as well as to disseminate any videotape, photograph, film or image of an identifiable person who is nude or engaged in sexual activity if the person did not consent to such dissemination.
- Possessing child pornography. KRS 21-5610 makes it illegal for someone under the age of 19 to possess a visual depiction of a child between the ages of 12 and 16 in a state of nudity. This is true even if the image was given voluntarily by the sender, as children under the age of 16 cannot give their consent to sexual activity in Kansas. This crime is a class B misdemeanor.
- Promoting obscenity to minors or distributing child pornography. KRS 21-6401 states that recklessly promoting obscene material, manufacturing or producing obscene material, or possessing obscene material with intent to distribute it, is a misdemeanor or felony if the material involves a minor.
There are also laws in Kansas criminalizing cyberbullying, blackmail, revenge porn, workplace sexual harassment, and other digital sex crimes. Most of the state’s sexting laws pertain to minors under the age of 16 receiving or exchanging sexually explicit materials. However, any unwanted or nonconsensual sext is against the law in Kansas, regardless of the age of the recipient.
Legal Help for Sexting Victims in Kansas
Breaking one of Kansas’s sexting laws could lead to penalties such as fines and jail time for the perpetrator. In addition, any victim who was harmed by the sexting crime could bring a civil claim against the offender. Filing a sexual assault, abuse or harassment lawsuit for unsolicited sexts or other sex crimes can hold the offender civilly liable for damages. This means the perpetrator will be responsible for paying for a victim’s emotional distress, lost wages, medical bills, legal fees and other losses.
To speak to an attorney about a potential sexting lawsuit in Kansas, contact DRZ Law for a free case evaluation.