Posted on 10/7/19

Texas, in September this year, came up with a newlaw to prevent the exchange of unsolicited nude pictures via the internet. This is an increasing trend and there are a lot of offenders who engage in sending nude photos without the consent of the receiver. This new bill comes as a welcome change. The law was created in coordination with the popular dating app Bumble, in an attempt to track down offenders. The act was in the discussion earlier this year, and thelaw was enacted on September 1

What is This New Law All About?

The offense is described as technology-enabled sexual harassment. In fact, this is considered a Class C misdemeanor which can attract a penalty of up to $500. This covers all kinds of digital communications like dating apps, emails, social media communication, text messages, and more.

Thisact comes on the tail of recent reports from a study that stated that one out of three women received non-consensual, unsolicited sexual images. In addition, 96% of these women did not agree to receive these messages. Most of this information was derived from the data received from the Bumble dating app. 

The bill states that a crime may be committed if they knowingly transmit any visual material using electronics that depicts them or another person that is engaging in a sexual activity, has their intimate parts exposed, or show male genitals that are covered, but in an obviously turgid state. The digital content also must be sent without the consent or request of the person receiving it.

The bill serves as a call to action to all digital media platforms, including apps and social media channels, to raise their code of conduct in an attempt to reduce digital indecent exposure. More often than not, women are more likely to report such encounters compared to men. 

The idea is that any sort of visual sexual picture that is not requested should be considered a punishable offense. Essentially, any media that is sent over a digital platform may be deemed sexual in nature if either of the following applies:

  • It depicts an act of sexual conduct

  • It depicts a picture of the person’s intimate parts exposed

  • It depicts a man’s covered genitals, but in a turgid state

It is considered to be a crime when any of these imageries are: 

  • Not sent with the consent of the recipient

At present, there are multiple other states that are in the process of criminalizing online sexual harassment. These include Washington, Pennsylvania, and New Jersey. One out of five women between the ages of 18 to 29 years report being sexually harassed. The hope is that these new laws will change these disturbing trends.

Contact an Experienced Criminal Defense Attorney

If you have been charged with a crime under this new law, contact the attorneys atAbel Law Firm today and let us ensure you rights are protected. We will work to create the best possible defense strategy for your charges.


Flower Mound Office

Phone: 972.584.7837

Denton Office