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Unwanted pornographic texts not illegal, police say

By Marc Giauque and Courtney Orton | Posted - Dec. 9, 2011 at 11:31 a.m.

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SOUTH JORDAN -- It was unwelcome but police say it wasn't illegal. Now a South Jordan woman wants to know what can be done to stop porn from showing up on her phone.

The woman, who doesn't want her name used, was not amused when two texts showed up on her cell phone in the middle of the night. One showed a topless woman; the other was a suggestive image of a woman's lower body. It was linked to a web posting that read "I'm up early in Salt Lake City."

"It's sickening," the recipient said. "It makes you physically sick to your stomach that we're that under attack. That someone can come right into your home, come right into your lap, right into your hands and expose themselves."

The recipient is a mother of eight and was mortified by what she saw. She contacted police. They told her as long as children weren't targeted or depicted, the porn wasn't necessarily illegal, even if it was a phishing scheme.

Investigators contacted the sender. She said she meant to send the text to another number.

The state of Utah has a website where people can register their cell phone, emails and other web-based forms of contact on a do not contact list. State law makes it illegal for people to advertise or promote any item that is illegal for minors if they are on the do not contact list.


Written with contributions from Marc Giauque and Courtney Orton.

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