While it is already illegal in West Virginia for adults to send sexually explicit text messages to minors, a new law in the state would punish juveniles for sexting with each other.

Signed on May 6, the new law makes possessing, distributing or producing sexually inappropriate photos, videos or other media, an act of delinquency for those under 18. However, if the minor completes an educational diversion program, the delinquency charge could be dropped from his or her record, according to the Associated Press.

The AP goes on to report that the educational diversion program is being created by the state Supreme Court and will inform minors about the consequences of sexting in order to prevent them from doing it again. It will clear the delinquency charge so that a single mistake does not follow an offender around for the rest of his or her life.

As of December 2012, at least 20 states had passed laws punishing minors for sexting in some form. In New Jersey, juveniles risk being required to register as a sex offender; however, juveniles in West Virginia would not run that risk.

Crystal Kirk, a West Virginia parent, told NBC local affiliate WVVA that she is happy about the new law.

"I think it's awesome," she said. "I think it's long overdue. I think [sexting] gets our [nation's] kids in a lot of trouble, gets them active in sex way earlier than they should be."

The law will go into effect on July 12.

Earlier on HuffPost:

Loading Slideshow...
  • Mark Sanford

    As South Carolina governor in 2009, Sanford admitted that he was having an extramarital affair with an Argentine woman and lied about his whereabouts, the Associated Press <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/huff-wires/20130410/us-anthony-weiner-mayoral-run-glance/" target="_blank">reported</a>. He recently won a GOP runoff for the congressional seat in South Carolina's 1st district and is engaged to his mistress, Maria Belen Chapur.

  • Chuck Robb

    Virginia Democrat Chuck Robb took another shot at the U.S. Senate in 1994, years after admitting to a secret history of partying and sexual encounters, according to the <a href="http://www.nytimes.com/1994/03/14/us/after-six-years-of-scandal-senator-seeks-redemption.html" target="_blank">New York Times</a>. He won his bid for a second term.

  • Eliot Spitzer

    The Democrat resigned as governor of New York in 2008 in a call-girl scandal and has since worked as a commentator for CNN and other media organizations, the Associated Press <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/huff-wires/20130410/us-anthony-weiner-mayoral-run-glance/" target="_blank">reported</a>.

  • Newt Gingrich

    Former GOP Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich's <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/05/11/newts-women-newt-gingrich_n_860341.html#s277211&title=19621980" target="_blank">history of marriages, divorces and affairs</a> reemerged in the spotlight while making an unsuccessful bid for the White House in 2012.

  • Barney Frank

    Massachusetts Democratic congressman Barney Frank's career was almost derailed in 1989 after he admitted to a relationship with a male prostitute, but went on to serve for two more decades before retiring, the Associated Press <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/huff-wires/20130410/us-anthony-weiner-mayoral-run-glance/" target="_blank">reported</a>.

  • David Vitter

    He won a second term as a Republican senator from Louisiana in 2010, three years after he was identified as a client of a prostitution service in what was dubbed the "DC Madam" scandal, the Associated Press <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/huff-wires/20130410/us-anthony-weiner-mayoral-run-glance/" target="_blank">reported</a>.

  • Bill Clinton

    Former President Bill Clinton was impeached by the House in 1998 but acquitted by the Senate over his relationship with White House intern Monica Lewinsky, the Associated Press <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/huff-wires/20130410/us-anthony-weiner-mayoral-run-glance/" target="_blank">reported</a>.

  • Ted Kennedy

    Massachusetts Democrat Edward "Ted" Kennedy was serving in the Senate in 1969, when he <a href="http://www.upi.com/Audio/Year_in_Review/Events-of-1969/Chappaquiddick/12303189849225-7/" target="_blank">was involved in</a> a post-party car accident that resulted in the death of Mary Jo Kopechne. Kennedy pled guilty to leaving the scene of an accident, and while the incident was thought to have damaged his presidential prospects, he ultimately served in the Senate until 2009, when he died of brain cancer.

  • Ken Calvert

    The California Republican was serving his first year in Congress in 1993 when he was <a href="http://www.croftononline.com/calvert.JPG" target="_blank">busted by police</a> while engaged in sexual conduct with a prostitute. The incident didn't slow down his political career, as Calvert is still serving on Capitol Hill.