New NC bills would crack down on AI ‘sexual extortion’ and get more teens out of juvenile court

North Carolina Republicans on Tuesday unveiled proposals for a number of new crimes they want to create, including one aimed at using artificial intelligence to create sexualized images of people.

That idea is being pushed by Sen. Amy Galey, R-Alamance, whose bill would create a new crime called sexual extortion. It would be a crime to threaten to publish – or refuse to remove – a nude photo of someone in order to force that person to do something against their will.

The bill, a new version of House Bill 591, would also make it illegal to do that not only with real nude photos, but also with AI-generated images.

Galey said the bill is an effort to modernize the state’s sex crimes laws as technology advances. It would also make it a crime to own, sell or make a sex doll that looks like a minor, and it would ban AI-generated images intended to imitate child pornography.

Democratic lawmakers have introduced a separate bill, House Bill 880, to ban AI-generated “deepfakes” in political ads within 90 days of an election. WRAL reported earlier this year that while election administrators have raised alarm bells about AI misinformation in this year’s election, the Republican leadership of the state legislature has so far shown no indication that it will take action.

Galey’s bill was one of three up for debate in the Senate Judiciary Committee on Tuesday. They were all for discussion alone, without votes.

Another bill, House Bill 237, sponsored by Sen. Buck Newton, R-Wilson, would create new crimes and implement harsher penalties targeting protesters — especially those who block roads or wear masks.
A third bill, House Bill 834, would make it easier for teens to be tried in adult court.

Teen offenders

North Carolina was the last state in the country to still automatically charge all 16- and 17-year-olds as adults, until 2017, when the Legislature passed a “Raise the Age” law that gave the freedom to charge them as minors or to sue as an adult.

Sen. Danny Britt, R-Robeson, with support from the prosecutors’ lobbying group, introduced a bill Tuesday that would make it easier to move teen offenders to adult court.

The measure drew objections from Sen. Mujtaba Mohamed, D-Mecklenburg, a former Charlotte public defender, who said juvenile court is better at preventing future crimes — in part because, he said, it allows parents to be held accountable held accountable for the actions of their children. , which the adult court does not allow.

Britt, a criminal defense attorney in Lumberton, responded that it is important that some juvenile offenders receive harsher sentences in adult court. At the same time, the bill would also give school administrators more discretion to not suspend students for issues that are currently an automatic suspension. He said that for children who are on a path of bad decisions, expelling them from school even for a short time can be counterproductive.

Britt’s bill would also create a new crime that would allow police to charge adults who entice minors to commit crimes; he saw it as an anti-gang measure.