Young people across the country are using cell phones and social media more than ever before. As a result, sexting scandals are on the rise amongst teenagers. A Virginia high school student has been charged with collecting and sharing nude images of multiple students last year. The student was a minor at the time of the arrest, but is now 18-years-old. He has been charged with two felony counts of distribution of child pornography.
The boy allegedly collected nude images of eight students and shared the images through an iPhone app. The app outwardly appears to be a calculator, but is actually intended for photo sharing. One student overheard someone talking about the explicit photos she sent her ex-boyfriend and another student reported that the boy pushed her to send photos until she finally agreed.
When the boy was confronted by school administrators, he showed them the images. He was placed on strict probation after appealing to the school's discipline committee and was allowed to enroll at a different high school. There was question whether the School Board violated the student's constitutional rights by punishing him without a record of the photos. However, a judge ruled that the student's rights had not been violated.
The student could face 20 years in jail and have to register as a sex offender if convicted of the charges. With similar cases occurring all over the country, it looks like taking and sending explicit pictures is a common occurrence among teens. However, teens should be aware of the potential consequences that come with such behavior. They should also be aware of their legal rights when defending themselves against these types of life-altering charges.
Source: The Virginian Pilot, "Virginia Beach student charged with sharing, storing nude photos of classmates on hidden phone app," Matt McKinney, Nov. 17, 2016