HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) – New laws taking effect in Connecticut will reduce penalties for “sexting” by children; increase sentences for certain hate crimes and impose new fines for calling police or fire departments to false alarms.

Dozens of bills passed during the last session of the General Assembly go into effect on Sunday.

One criminal statute will reduce the penalties for pre-teens who send sexual images to one another other from a felony to a misdemeanor, differentiating that crime from the distribution of child pornography.

Another law would allow judges to order restitution for the crime of “swatting,” where someone calls out a police or fire department to a made-up emergency.

The charge of intimidation based on bigotry and bias also has been changed from a misdemeanor to a felony.

(© Copyright 2017 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)


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