With the popularity of social media sites and the improvements in technology over the past decade, teenagers are getting into more trouble than ever before. Currently, parents in Virginia are particularly concerned with sexting, which can involve sending nude pictures to others via Facebook, Twitter or text message.
What many teens don’t realize is that distributing these pictures can lead to being charged with a distribution of child pornography. This applies even if the teen did not take the picture or if the picture is of the teen herself.
One 16-year-old Virginia girl is learning this the hard way. She has been charged with one count of distribution of child pornography after posting nude pictures of herself on Twitter a few weeks ago. The photos were also allegedly sent to a few boys. Authorities received an anonymous tip directing them to the girl’s tweets. The teen’s phone has been confiscated for evidence.
Because this could be considered a juvenile crime, the teen and her parents may be required by the court to complete a Sexting Education program. The worst case scenario would be that the young girl ends up in criminal court, where she may be sentenced to jail time.
While many people are surprised to learn that a person under 18 can be charged with distributing child pornography, police say that the lewdness of the photos are what led to the charge. Child pornography charges are extremely serious and can lead to long-lasting consequences. Cases like these warn teenagers to be extremely careful about what they post online and send to each other electronically.
Like any defendant facing a criminal charge, a juvenile facing criminal charges is entitled to a strong defense. This can be initiated by seeking guidance, conducting further investigation and developing a defense strategy. This could essentially reduce or drop the charges against them.
Source: WAVY, “Teen accused of tweeting nude selfies,” Ginger Whitaker, Anita Blanton, Lauren Compton, Feb. 6, 2014