DES MOINES, Iowa
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.