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IA: Iowa court: offensive text photos aren’t indecent exposure


The Iowa Supreme Court ruled Friday that text messaging a photo of one’s genitals to another person is not indecent exposure under state law.

The court ruled found that to meet the definition of the Iowa law as written, such an offensive display must be done in the physical presence of the offended person.

“While we acknowledge that one can be offended by a sexually explicit image transmitted via text message, it is much easier to ‘look away’ from that image than it is to avoid an offensive in-person exposure,” the court said.

Sending an unwanted photo of one’s genitals to another adult who finds it offensive could still lead to a harassment charge, but that is a simple misdemeanor under Iowa law.

Join the discussion

  1. R M

    This goes to show that different states have different laws; what is a crime in one state may not be a crime in another state. How messed up is that? I sense that Iowa will be changing their laws real soon OR they will keep their heads out of their a**** and realize people in the digital age use digital equipment for various things. This man however, seems to have a few loose ends as he was stalking/peeping the adult woman.

  2. Dustin

    Definitely sounds like a stalker, assuming the victim’s complaints and press reporting is true. Even so, I think the Iowa SC ruled correctly on the indecent exposure charge. There are tons of free apps out there to block those messages if they bothered her that much, and no reason in the world not to use them.

  3. David

    R M, I completely agree with you.
    This bullsh*t of every State having different laws, different requirements and regulations, different time periods, different “child safety zones” with mandatory minimum distances, etc, etc, etc is intolerable. It’s seems every locale is setting up its own “gotcha” traps and every State legislator, nationwide, has nothing better to do with their time than harrass registrants. 😡

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