People caught in the act of sexting or distributing nude photos of children or minors of ages 16 and below are punished by the state of Maryland however they are tried and convicted under the heading of their child pornography laws. The state does not have its own legislation unlike many others who do however that does not mean that these acts are not caught and punished by the law.
Any person be it an adult or minor, who takes nude pictures of a minor or asks, forces or coerces a minor to give nude photos is in danger of being caught and punished by law enforcements. Furthermore any individual found distributing nude photos, videos or any data that depicts minors being nude or performing sexual acts is also punishable by law for child pornographic charges. Within this boundary also comes the act of consenting or willingly sending nude photographs and other sexual content. These acts also come under the possession of pornography laws if found on any phones, laptops or other devices of an individual.
The child pornography laws of Maryland declare that any person in found possessing pornographic media is punishable by law for a maximum of 10 years in jail as well as a fine of a maximum of 25,000 dollars and in extreme cases, both. Furthermore, the sharing of nude, sexual and pornographic images with a minor also comes under sexting and hence punishable by the child pornography laws. Offenders are punishable by up to 12 months in jail along with a fine of a maximum of 1000 dollars. Second offences as well as subsequent ones are punishable by up to 3 years in prison and fines up to 5000 dollars.
The possession of sexual videos and images featuring minors are considered major offences that are punishable by 5 years in jail time as well a maximum fine of 2500 dollars. All the individual found guilty of any of the acts detailed above are also required to register their names for life on the sexual offenders list. This list is accessible by the public and that includes schools, colleges and corporate companies. Most prestigious institutions and companies run a background check on their incoming students and employees and that check includes the sexual offenders list. The existence of a person’s name on the sexual offenders list greatly reduces their chances at getting acceptance anywhere and hence is extremely problematic and detrimental for their future career prospects.
Lastly, people who are found guilty of engaging in sexting in Maryland can be dealt with by the federal laws. The federal charges have the possibility of the PROTECT act to come into play whereby it is a crime to own, produce or distribute any sexual content that features children. The knowledge of someone possessing such material is also considered a crime and is punishable by law. In conclusion, even though Maryland does not have separate sexting laws, its child pornography laws make sure to punish perpetrators affectively.