Honolulu, Hawaii



RE:    S.B. No. 2222

       S.D. 2




Honorable Shan S. Tsutsui

President of the Senate

Twenty-Sixth State Legislature

Regular Session of 2012

State of Hawaii




     Your Committee on Judiciary and Labor, to which was referred S.B. No. 2222, S.D. 1, entitled:




begs leave to report as follows:


     The purpose and intent of this measure is to address the problem of "sexting", which involves minors taking nude pictures and videos of themselves or other minors, and transmitting the nude images to others by use of a cell phone or other form of electronic communication, by prohibiting:


     (1)  Adults from soliciting minors to electronically transmit nude images of minors;


     (2)  Minors from electronically transmitting nude images of themselves or other minors, or soliciting other minors to do so; and


     (3)  A person from possessing a nude image transmitted by a minor, but making it an affirmative defense that the recipient made reasonable efforts to destroy the transmitted nude image.


     Your Committee received testimony in support of this measure from the Department of the Attorney General and two private individuals.  Testimony in opposition to this measure was submitted by the Office of the Public Defender and the American Civil Liberties Union of Hawaii.


     Your Committee finds that the electronic transmission of youth-produced sexual pictures and videos, frequently referred to as "sexting", is a growing problem, particularly because the images can be shared with many people almost instantaneously.  Once transmitted, the original transmitter has very limited ability to control or prevent further dissemination.  Your Committee further finds that the images may be used as a commodity for exchange, and the threatened dissemination of these images may be used as leverage against the subject to force the subject to engage in behaviors that may cause embarrassment, at minimum, and possible mental or emotional harm.


     Your Committee notes the concerns raised regarding criminalizing the possession of a nude picture or video of a minor sent by that minor via electronic communication.  The Office of the Public Defender indicated its concerns regarding prosecuting or defending cases under certain situations, such as when a nude photo of a minor is sent to another minor, but is inadvertently forwarded to an adult; when a seventeen-year-old male minor and eighteen-year-old female adult exchange nude photos with each other by electronic means; or when minors take nude photos of themselves, but rather than disseminate the photos via electronic means, send these photos through the postal service.


     Accordingly, your Committee has amended this measure by inserting an effective date of July 1, 2050, to ensure further discussion.


     As affirmed by the record of votes of the members of your Committee on Judiciary and Labor that is attached to this report, your Committee is in accord with the intent and purpose of S.B. No. 2222, S.D. 1, as amended herein, and recommends that it pass Third Reading in the form attached hereto as S.B. No. 2222, S.D. 2.


Respectfully submitted on behalf of the members of the Committee on Judiciary and Labor,