The attorney for Davis County, Utah, wants the option to charge teens with a misdemeanor instead of a felony for distributing pornographic pictures using their cell phones.

 

Troy Rawlings has asked the Utah Sentencing Commission to consider amending existing state law regarding the distribution of pornography to minors, the Salt Lake Tribune reported.

 

Rawlings said more options are needed when it comes to teens taking and sending questionable photos with their cell phones. Currently, only felony charges can be filed in such cases.

 

At the end of March, Rawlings' office was dealing with 28 teenagers in trouble with the law for sending other teens nude photos or, in some cases, videos of live sex acts involving themselves or friends. Some were as young as 13.

 

Prosecutors said they are taking their time in deciding how to handle each case. Often, the teens and their parents met with authorities, who charged the teens with a misdemeanor.

 

"The facts of these cases fit the felonies," Rawlings said. "We just determined we wanted to handle most of them at the misdemeanor level and try to make it fit there, because we felt that was the most appropriate for the ages of the children that we are dealing with."

 

The Utah Sentencing Commission has not decided whether it will consider Rawlings' request.