Teenagers don’t tend to think about the consequences of their actions, and that lack of thought may come back to haunt them later on. One Virginia teen may be facing some long-term consequences after he was allegedly caught sexting in January with his 15-year-old girlfriend at the time. The 17-year-old is now facing two felony charges, manufacturing and distributing child pornography.
Police have taken the boy into custody and seized his iPhone and iPad. The investigation is still ongoing, but family members are concerned with how officers are treating the boy. The boy’s aunt said that officials took pictures of the boy’s private areas. When the boy tried to refuse, he was allegedly told that they would take the pictures by force.
A local magistrate recently asked for more of these pictures to compare with the evidence. According to the boy, officers wanted him to become aroused for the photos. While family members think this is inappropriate behavior, officers have yet to comment on the case. The boy’s attorney has also questioned the charges and how the case was handled, especially because the boy is the only minor facing charges in connection with the alleged crime.
The teen will return to court in August when a judge will decide if he should go on trial. If he is convicted, he may be imprisoned and required to register as a sex offender. Whenever nude or suggestive pictures of a minor are transmitted through text messages, child pornography laws could apply, even if both parties are minors. With the increase in sexting over the past few years, legislators believe it is necessary to create laws that specifically address this specific behavior.
Source: NBC Washington, “Va. Teen Could be Jailed for “Sexting” Girlfriend,” July 4, 2014