Texas Court: Dirty Talk With Minors Is Legal
Ruling rejects 2005 law that outlawed sexual explicit language online with minors
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 31, 2013 4:20 PM CDT
A Texas court has ruled "sexually explicit" chatting with minors is protected by the First Amendment.   (Shutterstock)

(Newser) – A Texas court has ruled that it's legal for adults to talk dirty to minors—as long as they don't solicit sex, reports the Austin American-Statesman. The Texas Court of Criminal Appeals struck down part of a 2005 law that made it illegal to engage in sexually explicit talk online with kids. The judges decided that the law was too broadly written, reports the Houston Chronicle. It "may protect children from suspected sexual predators before they ever express any intent to commit illegal sexual acts, but it prohibits the dissemination of a vast array of constitutionally protected speech and materials," said the opinion.

For example, it could be interpreted to outlaw discussions of everything from 50 Shades of Grey and Lolita to Janet Jackson's wardrobe malfunction and Miley Cyrus' twerking, said the judges, who added that existing laws already protect kids from predators. The case centered around a 53-year-old man accused of sending dirty texts to a teenager, charges that have now been dismissed. "Parents have the job of dealing with this," says his lawyer. "This is not the government's job." Prosecutors—who argued that “perverts will be free to bombard our children with salacious emails and text messages"—are considering a Supreme Court appeal.
 

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