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Mass. House Votes To Shut Instant Message Loophole

This article is more than 10 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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