Not Just One Picture
The laws are very precise about child pornography. If a middle aged man is prosecuted for taking explicit pictures of a teenage girl, then he ends up on a sexual offender registry. He's the perpetrator. She's the victim. It get's a little more confusing when it's the 14 year old girl taking and sending pictures of herself.
That's the problem. Kids are taking explicit pictures of themselves and sending them to their friends. Text messages. Email. Even online video.
Beyond the legal implications, there is the consequence of a digital picture on the internet. And once something is on the net, there's no going back. There's no undo.
If you or a friend is suddenly over your head because of some pictures there's help. An anonymous call to Safe2Tell
might help you get through it.
Resources on the Net
There is a ton of info online. But here are some especially interesting resources and stories...
Channel 9 in Denver
is a growing trend among teens. It means sending sexually explicit messages or photos using e-mail and Web cams, but primarily cell phones.
Sextortion At Eisenhower High
Gentlemen's Quarterly has a must-read for teens and parents about how sexting can turn not just bad. But really bad.
In 2008, an awkward high school senior in Wisconsin went online and conned dozens of his male classmates into e-mailing him sexually explicit images of themselves. What he did next
got him a sentance of 15 years in prison and another 13 years of extended supervision.
Some Legal Insight
Dr. Douglas Berman with Ohio State University offers a variety of insights and reports on his impressive legal blog
United States Sexting Laws
Looking for sexting laws in the United States? Find out more
about sexting laws and possible penalties in your state.
'Sexting' lands teen on sex offender list
Phillip Alpert found out the hard way.
He had just turned 18 when he sent a naked photo of his 16-year-old girlfriend, a photo she had taken and sent him, to dozens of her friends and family after an argument. The high school sweethearts had been dating for almost 2 1/2 years. "It was a stupid thing I did because I was upset and tired and it was the middle of the night and I was an immature kid," says Alpert.
Nude photo led to suicide
Jessica Logan's nude cell-phone photo - meant for her boyfriend's eyes only - was sent to hundreds of teenagers
in at least seven Greater Cincinnati high schools.
Utah Attorney General is Serious
study saying "sexting" is as harmless as spin-the-bottle.
Sexting Hysteria Falsely Brands Educator...
The investigation was inconclusive, but led to a stunning aftermath:
Oei himself was charged with possession of child pornography and related crimes charges. Transferred from his school and isolated from colleagues, Oei spent $150,000 and a year of his life defending himself in a Kafkaesque legal nightmare triggered by a determined county prosecutor and nurtured by a growing hysteria over technology-enabled child porn at Americas schools.