NCCASA has added two new webpages to the website: “The Need to Develop Specific Legislation Addressing Sexting among Minors” and “Mental Incapacitation Law Revictimizes Survivors.” Consensual sexting is a prevalent act among minors. However, minors who are found sexting can be charged under North Carolina child pornography laws. Violation of child pornography laws can result in a Class C, Class E, or Class H Felony. The legal system can charge a minor with a felony for producing, possessing, and sharing a sext, regardless of whether the sext portrays the minor in question or another minor engaging in sexual activity. The legal sanctions against sexting among consenting minors are not equitable with the act of sexting. The General Assembly will need to discuss developing explicit laws regarding sexting among minors during future sessions.
The North Carolina statute defining mental incapacitation is harmful for survivors of sexual assault because it perpetuates victim blaming. North Carolina needs to change the way our criminal law defines mental incapacitation because, currently, there is a legal loophole that does not protect sexual assault victims who voluntarily consume alcohol. The 2008 Court of Appeal Case, State v. Haddock, established the legal loophole. Mental incapacitation only applies to individuals who involuntarily consumed alcohol. Changing the mental incapacitation law to include survivors who voluntarily drink is the right step towards a legal system that listens to and believes survivors. For further reading, you can find the webpages at the links below.