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Protecting Vulnerable Children: Understanding Hawaii’s Laws on Sexting and Solicitation

Hawaii Sexting Laws and the Serious Consequences of Teenage and Adult-Minor Sexting

In this technological age, there has been a rise in the number of people engaging in sexting. This practice, where individuals send sexually suggestive or explicit photos or messages via electronic means, is not new.

However, with the prevalence of smartphones and access to the internet, it has become easier to share personal content. While sexting between consenting adults may be legal, it can have severe implications when minors are involved.

Hawaii Sexting Laws and the Prohibition of Teenage/Minor Sexting

Hawaii, like most states, prohibits the practice of teenage/minor sexting. This law states that teenagers under the age of 18 who send or receive sexually suggestive or explicit material are committing a crime.

Therefore, if you are a parent, teen, or a young adult, it is crucial to know that you risk being charged with a crime if you engage in underage sexting.

Classification of Sexting on Three Levels

The law classifies sexting involving minors on three levels, depending on the severity of the offense. Minors who share sexual photos among themselves, which do not show genitalia or any sexual penetration, will receive a misdemeanor charge.

If the content shows explicit images of genitals or any form of sexual penetration, the minor may be charged with a felony. In certain instances, such as an adult coercing a minor into sending sexually explicit photos, the minimum penalty includes a mandatory sentence of ten years in prison.

Affirmative Defense of Taking Reasonable Steps to Report or Delete Sexually Explicit Photos of a Minor

Hawaii’s laws provide an affirmative defense for individuals who receive content, which they believe to be sexually explicit, and take the necessary steps to report it to authorities or delete it. This means that if you receive sexually explicit photos of minors, you should take affirmative steps to report the matter to authorities, or it could lead to prosecution.

Adult-Minor Sexting and Child Pornography

Hawaii’s laws also prohibit adult-minor sexting, which is an act of transmitting sexually explicit photos or messages between a minor and an adult. In this case, the responsibility lies with the adult participant, who faces prosecution for transmitting, producing, or receiving such content.

Such offenders could face felony convictions, which could carry lengthy prison sentences and incur fines.

Possibility of Minors Being Tried in Adult Court for Committing Class A Felonies

In cases where minors commit class A felonies, such as producing, engaging in, or participating in any child pornography, the court may try them as adults. The law has such penalties to prevent minors from engaging in predatory or abusive behavior and ensure that justice is served accordingly.

Prohibition of Engagement in Sexually Explicit Content Involving Minors

Hawaii’s laws prohibit adults from producing, participating in, or engaging in sexually explicit content involving minors. This law applies not just to producing such content but also to watching, sharing, or possessing it.


It is essential to understand that sexting involving minors is illegal in Hawaii, regardless of whether it involves sharing explicit images of genitals, sexual penetration, or not. Engaging in such practices could lead to serious consequences, such as criminal records and jail time for both teens and adults.

Therefore, it is essential to take affirmative steps to delete sexually explicit photos of minors if you ever come across one. Furthermore, it is the responsibility of adults to ensure that they steer clear of activities that involve minors in sexually explicit material.

Overall perpetrators of any sex crimes should be aware of the severe legal penalties they face if caught. Solicitation of Minors: Luring Minors Through Electronic Devices and Indecent Electronic Display

Solicitation of minors refers to the use of electronic devices to lure, entice or solicit a child to engage in a sexual act.

Hawaii law criminalizes such actions, and perpetrators may face severe penalties if found guilty. It is paramount that adults understand Hawaii’s solicitation laws, as violating them carries severe consequences.

Criminalization of Using Electronic Devices to Lure, Entice, or Solicit a Child to Engage in a Sexual Act

Hawaii state law criminalizes the use of electronic devices or the internet to lure, entice, or solicit a child to engage in any sexual activity. This includes the use of a computer, phone, or any communication device to coerce, manipulate or pressure a child to engage in sexual acts.

Electronic solicitation of minors raises serious concerns to the society as a whole. Sexual predators tend to use these gadgets to communicate with minors, and thus require a law to be in place to protect vulnerable children from this form of victimization.

Offenders can be charged with a felony, which can carry heavy fines and a lengthy prison sentence.

Class C Felony for Indecent Electronic Display to a Child

Under particular circumstances, an individual can be charged with a Class C felony for indecent electronic display to a child. Displaying sexually explicit content to a minor on an electronic device, for instance, would be considered an indecent electronic display.

In such cases, the offender can be charged with a Class C felony, leading to significant fines and lengthy prison sentences. Harassment Laws in Hawaii: Criminalization of Repeated Calls, Use of Coarse Language, and Harassing Communication

In Hawaii state, harassing communication is not acceptable, and it is criminalized under Hawaii State Law.

This law explicitly stipulates that those who repeatedly call or use coarse language to communicate with another person, or disturb the peace, privacy, and tranquility of another individual, may face criminal charges. The act of harassment extends to all forms of communication, including text messages, email, and social media.

Perpetrators of harassment face prosecution under Hawaii state law.

Petty Misdemeanor for Harassment

Under Hawaii state laws, harassment is a criminal offense that may carry a sentence of a Petty Misdemeanor. In cases where the perpetrator’s conduct causes emotional distress, the punishment for harassment may be a misdemeanor, which is more severe than a petty misdemeanor.

If charged with harassment, the offender may be subjected to fines and other disciplinary actions under Hawaii state law.

Civil Action Against the Offender and Felony Charges for Sending Sexually Explicit Content to a Minor

In addition to criminal charges and penalties, the victim of harassment may file a civil lawsuit against the perpetrator. Under such circumstances, the victim can sue the offender for damages, including compensation for any emotional harm, medical expenses, legal fees, and loss of income.

If the harassment involves sending sexually explicit content to a minor, the perpetrator may face additional felony charges.


Hawaii state laws have criminalized harassment and the solicitation of minors through electronic devices. Harassment covers all forms of communication, and offenders may be charged with a Petty Misdemeanor.

In addition, the perpetrator of harassment may face civil claims from the victim in a court of law. Sending sexually explicit content to a minor is a severe offense that can lead to felony charges and lengthy jail time.

Understanding Hawaii’s solicitation and harassment laws are critical to staying within the law and avoiding prosecution. It is, therefore, important for adults to abide by these laws and protect children from sexual predators lurking on various online platforms.

Hawaii Revenge Porn and Sexting: Understanding the Criminalization and Consequences

Revenge porn and sexting are serious crimes that involve the unauthorized sharing of intimate photos or videos. In Hawaii, these offenses are illegal, and individuals who engage in them are subject to severe criminal penalties.

This expansion aims to delve deeper into Hawaii’s revenge porn and sexting laws and their related consequences.

Criminalization of Knowingly Threatening or Disclosing Images or Videos Without Consent

Hawaii’s revenge porn and sexting laws prohibit the release of sexually explicit images without the consent of the parties involved. The law makes it illegal to disclose, threaten, or distribute any images, videos or other recordings depicting a person engaged in sexual activities.

Such unlawful acts include sharing photos of a former or current partner or even a stranger without their consent. This law applies to all forms of communication, including social media and text messages.

A violation of these laws can result in severe legal consequences.

Class B Felony for Posting Nudes or Sexually Explicit Videos of a Person Depicting Under 18

Under Hawaii state law, anyone who shares or posts nude photos or sexually explicit videos of a person under the age of 18 will be charged with a Class B felony. The offense carries a possible fine and mandatory minimum prison sentence.

This law aims to protect minors from exploitation and shielding them from being exposed to unwanted sexual content.

Class C Felony for Posting Nudes or Sexually Explicit Videos of a Person Depicting Over 18

The state of Hawaii also prohibits the posting of naked or sexually explicit photos or videos of any persons, regardless of their age, without their consent. Individuals who engage in this behavior will face Class C felony charges, which can result in a lengthy prison sentence and significant fines.

This law protects the financial, social and psychological harm that adult individuals can suffer when their personal content is made public.

Honoring Consent

Consent is vital in partnerships, be it romantic or sexual. Everyone has the right to privacy and should feel secure in control of their intimate images and videos.

Sexting is consensual when all parties involved agree to participate. However, sharing intimate videos or photos without the other party’s consent can lead to serious legal consequences and violate their right to privacy.

It is crucial to honor consent in all intimate encounters to avoid the unlawful sharing of sensitive content.

Concluding Thoughts

Revenge porn and sexting are serious offenses under Hawaii state law. Whether sharing images or videos of a minor or an adult, individuals who engage in these actions will face severe legal consequences.

If convicted, these individuals will face fines and serve time in prison, leaving permanent marks on their criminal records. It is, therefore, paramount that you understand Hawaii’s revenge porn and sexting laws and their related consequences to avoid getting into trouble with the law.

Stay safe and respect people’s privacy. To summarize, Hawaii’s laws regarding sexting, solicitation of minors, harassment, and revenge porn are in place to protect individuals, especially minors, from exploitation, online predators, and harassment.

Engaging in these illegal activities can result in serious consequences, including felony charges and significant fines. It is crucial to understand and abide by these laws, honor consent, and respect the privacy of others.

The takeaways from this article are the importance of educating oneself on the laws, promoting safe and responsible online behavior, and working towards creating a society that prioritizes consent and respects the boundaries of others. Remember, the internet may provide connectivity and convenience, but it is our responsibility to ensure that we use it responsibly and ethically.

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