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Mass. House Votes To Shut Instant Message Loophole

This article is more than 9 years old.

The Massachusetts House has voted to outlaw the sending of sexually graphic instant messages to minors.

The legislation is designed to close a loophole in Massachusetts law that led the state's highest court earlier this month to overturn the conviction of a man accused of sending explicit instant messages to a 13-year-old girl.

The amendment unanimously approved on Wednesday would update the state's obscenity laws to include all electronic communications such as e-mail and text messages.

The measure, sponsored by Republican leader Brad Jones and Democratic House Judiciary Chairman Eugene O'Flaherty, was tacked onto an unrelated crime bill that would create a new charge of assault and battery on a correctional officer by means of a bodily fluid.

The amended bill heads back to the Senate.

This program aired on February 24, 2010. The audio for this program is not available.

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