16-year-old charged with child pornography & it can happen to your kids too
James City County Police in Virginia received an anonymous tip that someone had posted nude and lewd pictures of a 16-year-old girl on Twitter. Naturally, they investigated and when they found the culprit, the culprit was charged with possession, reproduction, distribution, solicitation and facilitation of child pornography. Good right? I would agree except for the fact that the person being charged is in fact the 16-year-old in the pictures. You see, the pictures of the nude 16-year-old girl were posted by the nude 16-year-old herself. She took what she thought were racy pictures of herself and then posted them on Twitter herself. Definitely, not the wisest move, but is it a crime? Apparently, and before you shrug it off, you need to read more because your kids could get accused of child pornography too for less.
The young girl involved in this case has not been named because she is a minor. She did however admit to taking the photos, posting them, and even sending them directly to guys she hoped to impress. The teen's mother also acknowledged that the photos were of her daughter. The photos have since been removed from Twitter, although we all know things live on forever on the internet.
What the young girl did was wrong and dumb, but she is a child and it seems ridiculous to charge her with child pornography for her indiscretion. It just doesn't make any sense to me. She is being charged as a juvenile so she will not have to register as a sex offender. Good, because that would be absurd.
I'm not saying don't punish the girl, but charging her with child pornography is too much. Right now the teen and her parents could be ordered to complete a Sexting Education program. Sounds great and it seems they could use it, but there is also the possibility of jail time for the girl. That sounds ridiculous to me.
Okay, so how could something like this affect your kids? Your kids don't have to be posting nude pictures of themselves online to get in trouble, all they have to do is forward a picture that is considered child porn to someone else. "I would hope that they would not then forward it on to their friends because then they become guilty also of distribution of child pornography, whether they know that or not," says Stephanie Williams-Ortery with the James City County Police Department.
Ignorance of the crime or age do not work as an excuse, so let's talk to our kids about this so they don't get in trouble for something stupid.
Image via Thinkstock