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New Jersey Senate Approves Legislation Allowing Teens To Avoid Prosecution For ‘Sexting’

N.J. school sexting scandal

(credit: AP Photo/Wally Santana)

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TRENTON, N.J. (CBSNewYork/AP) — New Jersey teenagers caught texting sexually explicit photos or posting them online could avoid prosecution if Governor Chris Christie signs a measure passed by the state Senate.

The Senate voted 39-0 Wednesday to approve the bill. It passed in the Assembly back in March.

The bill targets “sexting,” the practice of sending explicit photos by cell phone, email or Internet posts. The nationwide problem has confounded parents, schools and police.

The bill gives first-time offenders the chance to complete an education program.

Lawmakers took up the issue after a 14-year-old girl allegedly uploaded nude pictures of herself and was arrested on child pornography charges last summer. She eventually received probation and court-ordered counseling

Christie spokesman Kevin Roberts said the governor will review the legislation but hasn’t indicated whether he will sign it.

(TM and Copyright 2011 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2011 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)