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April 7th, 2009
12:00 PM ET

Busted for sexting

CNN's Deborah Feyerick reports on the trend of 'sexting' and how police are now getting involved.
CNN's Deborah Feyerick reports on the trend of 'sexting' and how police are now getting involved.

A lot of teens think it's funny, a way to flirt or joke around with friends.

No big deal.

But sending and receiving naked images of children is illegal. And once that photo of your kid is out there it's virtually impossible to get it back.


What do you think? Should teenagers be prosecuted for "sexting?"

Filed under: Controversy
soundoff (161 Responses)
  1. CharlyOk

    I feel the teenagers doing this should DEFFINATLY be punished or they will think it is ok, and until they become adults it is NOT ok and even an adult should not do it as then they too will become sexual predators. Don't this world have enough of those! We need to protect our children and not let them ruin their lifes.

    February 8, 2010 at 2:08 pm |
  2. Taylor

    I think that this is ridiculous. Young teenagers should not be charged as "sexual offenders" for "sexting". Most older people do not understand that although they might see it as some aweful thing, to teenagers this has become apart of their culture! If they send a picture, it is their business. Their life should not be ruined. Teenagers accused of this end up being listed as conviced fellons – and this can ultimately jeopardize any hope they have for their future. What about getting a job? Or, getting into college? Their life is virtually ruined. They are denied a chance. All because of a sexual text. This outrages me. Prosecutors should be more worried about the people that are actually out their molesting children and raping children. Not someone who sends sexual photos or texts. Get your freaking priorities straight.

    February 5, 2010 at 4:57 pm |
  3. CharlyOk

    Waylon you wrote~~If a teenager chooses to send pictures of themselves naked then thats there business~~~NO NO NO You must be a sexual predator to say that let alone think it! With you saying that I guess your opinion it would be ok for them to buy liquor and get drunk and even drive if they want, as it would be their got to be out of your mind!
    The parents deffinately went wrong somewhere, however I do know teenagers can be a handfull and then some. I think the parent and the teenager both should be punished!

    January 29, 2010 at 3:41 pm |
  4. Roger

    A non sexual naked picture of anyone under 18 is not child porn unless there is something sexual about the pic.
    A 12 or 14 year old taking a naked pic of them self does not mean it is pornography.
    There are federal laws that define if an image is (pornographic) child porn etc.
    In fact an image of someone fully dressed under 18 but in a sexual pose is considered child porn.
    Brooke Shields had nude photos taken of her when she was 12 years old, her mother gave consent. These pics were published and if you search the web you can find them. They are artistic pics. There have been many pictures and books published of people of all ages and they are completely legal.
    There have been many parents and professional photographers that were arrested when they went to pick up film they brought to be processed. in the end the charges are dropped because some cop or district attorney's office doesn't know the laws.
    I am not saying that people under 18 should be sending nude picks to other people but federal law and the US Supreme court has defined what child porn is and a non sexual nude photo is not child porn.
    I wonder if any of these kids under 18 that have had charges, been found guilty, or had to register as a sex offender sent pics of them selves that were just nude but not sexual in nature.

    There are families that vacation at nudist resorts. There are legal nude beaches. There are places in Europe, Brazil and many others that have many nude beaches where families have been going for generations.

    There have been many books of nudity of all ages published by many famous photographers.

    A non sexual nude photo of someone under 18 is not child porn it is a nude photo.

    December 19, 2009 at 4:05 pm |
  5. Cody

    Times are changing!!! Our generation has its own tech culture and these attorneys and political people need to realize this. They are ruining young lives and future cause everyone does background check. I am currently being charged with 3rd degree sex with my girlfriend. Its all just wrong. Now ill be a felon and a registered sex offender for caring and loving someone!!! Seems real fair!

    November 2, 2009 at 8:38 pm |
  6. Mark Barberi

    It boggles my mind how people are still acting surprised that teenagers engage in sexual activities. Are we that repressed a society that we can hardly believe it when something so natural and inate begins to happen in our childrens' lives? But every couple of years, some news program will post a story about the sexual activities of teenagers and act like they are shocked and surprised.

    And let's not forget, these are the same programmers that will display daily images of people being killed tortured and raped at the hands of barbarians. They have no problem showing these things to our children, but God forbid the kids begin to explore their instinctual sexuality. OH MY GOD! WHAT IS THIS WORLD COMING TO!!

    You news casters need to take a reality pill. Children have been engaging in sexual activity since before Romeo & Juliet. I think I was 4 when I got my first boner. SO WHAT!!

    Let's stop acting so dam surprised and repressed, and let our kids know that there's nothing wrong with it. Once you remove the sense of taboo, maybe they will treat sexuality in a more responsible manner. After all, isn't it always the sexually repressed one's who wind up acting out in an irresponsible manner?

    But then that's just my jackass opinion!

    October 7, 2009 at 2:36 pm |
  7. jackie

    I hope you the best if you are still raising children. I am close with mine and I still can't control their every move. If you think you can control all these kids better maybe we ought to send them to you to raise. Kids taking pics of them selves and sending them isn't meant to be child porn. They usually don't even think about it being illegal, and why would they. They are constantly be told that they are only kids.
    I think some laws are to generic and prosecutors are overly zealous. It would be the same as charging a now 18 year old for rape when he was 17 and so was his girlfriend but he turned 18 first so he is considered a pedifile.

    October 5, 2009 at 1:08 pm |
  8. Ruth


    They broke the law, and should be punished for their crimes. Anyone that commits a crime that advocates or promotes child pornography should be thrown in jail for the rest of their lives. They are old enough to know the difference between right and wrong

    I do NOT want them near my children, in school, on in my neighborhood, and they should be required to register on a sex offender web site for the rest of their lives!!!!

    I also believe that if their parents are paying their phone bills, they should be responsible as well and be charged with the promotion of child pornography.

    Anybody sticking up for these vile excuses for human beings should be ashamed, and disgusted with themselves, and realize that these sex offenders encourage the spread of this filth between themselves.

    The only way to stop this is to make sure they are treated like adults, and let their little playmates see they are finally being held accountable for their actions. I don't care what sort of "hardship" this brings on them, or their family's. They should have thought of that before they pressed the send button

    October 4, 2009 at 7:37 pm |
  9. Kevin

    Anyone with an ounce of common sense realizes the intent of the law is to prevent children from becoming VICTIMS of pornography. If someone of any age takes a picture of themselves nude and texts it to a boy/girlfriend by their own choice, who is the victim? Anyone who thinks this is a crime at all is a moron. IF the photo was sexual in nature and the recipient then sent it all over the place, then maybe it's a misdemeanor at most. But a sex offender? Just because a person is nude doesn't mean it's pornography, either. It's a sad commentary on American society that some seemingly intelligent people think this is a crime. People are so paranoid and uptight about nudity and imaginary perverts lurking everywhere they have lost all sense of perspective. Last week I was naked in the locker room and there was an 11 year old boy nude also. I suppose I should turn myself in as a sex offender; right after I do my time for distributing child pornography since I gave my friend a National Geographic with nude Indian kids.

    September 14, 2009 at 10:57 pm |
  10. ashley

    You know, I'm against punishing teens to this extent for 'sexting'. I'm sorry, but it's their bodies, and their decision, parents should talk to their children more about self respect, and in a calm mature way, they shouldn't talk superior/inferior, that just causes resentment with the child. And yes i do think it is wrong for teens to resort to such things, just to flirt, or hook up. But look at the society they live in? Pornography has pretty much taken over everything. Sex is just a casual thing between two people, it's no big deal. It's no longer reserved for the one you love, or the one you want to spend the rest of your life with. So yet again, I think if a teen boy / girl wants to create problems in their life by doing this, let them, it'll be a lesson well learned in the end, why turn them into sex offenders at such a young age? What's that going to do? Keep them away from kids, sure. But they're not molesting children, and guys who receive the naked pics, or girls, without knowing, shouldn't be punished to this degree, sometimes you don't have to ask for the picture, girls just send it.

    September 7, 2009 at 5:28 pm |
  11. eric

    I'm a Verizon customer myself. I'm 23 years old. My girlfriend is the same age. Now my phone was turned off due to this whole sexting thing. I'm 23 years old. not a minor, i sent some graphic pics to my girlfriend. Because hey they turn her on. And now my service is suspended. I have no idea why, i'm an adult as is she. we should be allowed to do whatever we want in that aspect. I find it a violation of my personal rights as an adult in this manner. But i can understand cracking down on underage people but not adults.

    June 24, 2009 at 5:55 pm |
  12. charlie

    Just another fascist move from the morality police. First off, your body is YOUR body – not some moralizers, not the states, not even your parents.
    It's absurd to persecute (yes, I said "persecute") anyone for sending a picture of themselves to anyone else. Lastly, what is the big deal here? A stroll down any public beach will reveal that boys and girls of most any age are already revealing most of the family secrets, and dollars-to-donuts the odds are that many of them have seen the other in the buff. (Like those string bikinis cover a lot, eh?)

    June 5, 2009 at 10:38 am |
  13. Shannon

    no way should they be charged with a crime, im a 19 year old girl and if these younger girls choose to take pictures of themselves and send them around then let the face the humility. they are very aware of what theyre doing so they should deal with the humiliation afterwards, but there is absoluteelyy noooo reason for the law to get involved this is outragous

    April 26, 2009 at 5:48 pm |
  14. Betty

    There are pictures posted all over billboards, magazines, TV & music videos of girls in sometimes nothing other panties which our children are exposed to daily. Why would they think it's any different, when it's acceptable in society to have these same type of pictures they are sending through texting posted on the wall of a bus shelter, which they stand at each morning to get to school. It's a sin to ruin a persons life over a mistake they make as a teen, yes it's wrong to send out pictures of your naked ex but the same damage can be done just through spreading rumors at school. Sex is natural and as a society we have made it acceptable to over expose our children to sex and when they act on it we can't go charging them as sex offenders. What a joke! How could you compare an 18 year old forwarding naked photos to friend to an adult who forces a child to take a naked photo or an adult who rapes a child. It's not the same thing. I do believe that they should be disciplined through parents and school but mostly they need to be educated on the effects of this.

    April 22, 2009 at 10:21 am |
  15. inveseent

    Yo!. Just one more question. Realy, please, help me.
    Wahat is the difference beer, rum, brandy, whisky?

    Thenk you. I am vaiting for answer!!!

    April 21, 2009 at 3:30 pm |
  16. dm

    What interesting times we live in! Who'd have imagined this problem ten years ago?

    Yes, this is a problem that must be dealt with. Is it a crime? If it is it shouldn't be – at least not a felony. That's a bit harsh.

    These people should be counseled and perhaps even pay a fine. But charging them with a felony and registering them as a sex offender for something that kids don't seem to know is a crime to begin with is not a solution to the problem.

    The real solution undoubtedly lies in technology. Technology created the ability to commit this crime and technology should provide a way to limit it, if not eliminate it all together.

    Are you hearing me Steve Jobs and Bill Gates? Do something about this!

    April 16, 2009 at 4:36 pm |
  17. Amy

    No child at this point in time should be charged as a sex offender or put on a sex offender list for sharing inappropriate photos. I agree that something needs to be done asap but I disagree with this extreme step of profiling them as sex offenders. Don't destroy these kids and their future. Give them repercussions and educate them. Laws usually have a time line and this law is no different. In the future if this occurs and if there is a pre-existing law in place kids need to take their punishment. I still think that kids are kids and they will do things wrong. That is where parents come in and need to know what is going on and talk with their children about the dangers and what will happen to them if they are caught sending inappropriate material on their phones or even the internet. I disagree with posting kids under the age of 18 on a sex offenders registry at any time for this type of crime.

    April 16, 2009 at 8:57 am |
  18. Robert

    Yes they should be. First of all they are kids and there parenrt shouldnt let them to have cell phone or anything with texting then this wouldnt have happen. Its like saying its ok if her boyfriend was ok . for one thing, she is still a child, only 15 and she shouldnt had a boyfriend that is 19 anyway. That is like saying its ok for Miley Cyrus to have a 20 old man for a boyfriend now he should be picked up for questing. she is a child and her father should be a father and tell him to get lost.

    April 14, 2009 at 2:04 am |
  19. Paul

    I'm pleased to see how many of you agree this is ridiculous. See I'm kind of a radical when it comes to free speech and such. So I thought it might just be me.

    Personally I think their is nothing wrong with teens doing this. But in any case issues of morality are better left to parents, the government has absolutely no business getting involved.

    The only exception would be when someone maliciously distributes a photo of another person. That could be regarded as harassment or invasion of privacy, but making it as a felony and ruining somebody's life over it is totally out of proportion.

    April 11, 2009 at 2:58 pm |
  20. Aaron


    Im enlisted in the Air-Force and currently doing my JAG internship, so I doubt I would qualify as an "idiot". What I stated on the posts that I had made, would show if you were able to read and comprehend what was stated, that this nation presses circumstances too far on unnecessary cases such as this one. Now what you said I could be misinterpreting but from how I read it, it stated that myself including a few other individuals would qualify that made person an idiot.

    And I will state it again, yes he should be punished, but to this extent no. By placing him on a list of sex offenders for the next thirty-years will not stop or dissolve this issue that continues on a daily basis. If he is given this punishment, then Cell Phone company that allowed the nude photos and the school for allowing him to view and show them should also be punished since they were technically accomplices to this case.

    April 10, 2009 at 8:05 pm |
  21. Heather

    two words...common sense! I think the the teenage girls of america need to be educated. They send their naked picture of themselves to their boyfriend and expect them to not show it to all their friends? Then the male is prosecuted because they are above 18 years of age! What ever happens to the female for sending the picture? Teenage girls today are not the innocent little girls that we once thought they were. I definitely don't agree with having any teenager that is apart of sexting register as a sex offender. I really believe that teenagers are not aware that sexting is a crime. It is such a huge trend among the teenage society.

    April 10, 2009 at 10:11 am |
  22. nic

    this is an insult to true victims of child molestation

    kids have always paraded in their underwear at sleep overs- now w/ a cellular its a crime- maybe we are the criminals in our lack of common sense- and the DA and judges exponentially so.

    Now we have NO REASON TO TRUST THE SEX OFFENDER LISTS if they list kids who took pics of themselves or their gfs/bfs

    the 14 y/o with the pics of themselves in bras- they weren't stupid kids doing stupid things,, they were normal kids doing normal things who've been made to believe their actions were stupid, sexual and abnormal. Now that's abnormal.

    April 9, 2009 at 9:54 pm |
  23. Dee

    I'm sorry but I feel no sympathy for teens who sextext. Teens already have too many "rights" and not enough responsibilities in our land. They are the first to demand their rights (many times non-existent rights which they try to push to get away with) and the first to scream when asked to step up to the plate and take responsibility of their actions.

    It also does not help when parents cave in and get cell phones with Internet and texting access for their "children." If they are too immature to understand the ramifications of sex-texting, then I say they are too young to have access to a cell phone. Parents, how about standing up the the constant nagging and manipulation your teen throws your way instead of throwing your hands up and telling everyone that you can't control your child. You pay the bills. Enough said.

    April 9, 2009 at 9:44 pm |
  24. Kara

    I've scanned some of these comments and i'd just like to add that its not only girls who send them,guys send them tooo.

    April 9, 2009 at 6:52 pm |
  25. cfcamerica

    lhorn SAID:

    QUOTE: So when do we start using common sense in this country? When do teenagers start facing consequences for their actions? If you know something is stupid, then why do it? What is wrong with teenagers today? Sure, we made mistakes when we were kids and faced the consequences for doing so. It seems like everyone today wants to let teenagers get away with everything. Well, I say let them face the consequences for their stupid actions. And no, it’s not okay to send naked pictures of each other over cell phones. END QUOTE.


    First of all, where to begin...Everything in this country teaches sex, sex, sex... Television, Internet, Radio, Newspapers, Magazines, Music, Our Courts... All teach sex, sex, Sex.

    When does a person become MOST SEXUALLY AWARE? At What Age?


    You hand out condoms in school.
    You have homosexual teachers invite their gradeschool children to their homosexual weddings.
    You promote all kinds of sex in commercials to sell? Even Pepsi... and then you arrest children for doing what everything they see and hear teaches them is acceptable to do?

    Have you people even looked at what I just said?

    Americans are totally SEX ORIENTATED.

    Imagine what parents of 60 years ago would think if they sat down to a television and watched it for 24 hours today!

    The would think they had died and went to some sort of HELL on earth.

    We are producing elementary school kids who perform oral sex on other kids, WHILE RIDING TO SCHOOL ON THE SCHOOL BUS.

    Documented! These kids are NOT at fault for doing what they have been programed to do.

    Stop the violence against our children, abolish these idiotic laws.

    Parents, start parenting... don't let the Government raise your kids!

    April 9, 2009 at 4:41 pm |
  26. cfcamerica


    With the economy sagging to such an all time low, can we as Americans truly afford to stop arresting children for sexting...

    Just think of all the lawyers, psychiatrists, psychologists, probation officers, police, politicians, Jails, Prisons, Newsmedia and all the related persons who will lose so very much money if we stop arresting, prosecuting all these kids.

    Remember, Arresting people and Prisons is Big Business.. the largest business in America....

    How could we ever recover if we stop producing illiterate, unworkable adults by stopping branding these kids for the rest of their lives as sex offenders?

    What ever would politicians have to talk about, what would the do if the could not gain votes by working up these idiotic laws targeting Sex Offenders and passing them off to their unsuspecting and willing voters?

    We need these kids to be prosecuted, branded for life so the can not ever get a job, ever have a pace to live, ever have any friends so we can inure they will continue to be arrested for one crime after the other and so support the American InJustice System.

    April 9, 2009 at 4:18 pm |
  27. cfcamerica

    I do not care what these kids did, FOCUS, kids, young people....

    The chair person who headed up a
    stated a fact:
    "Once a person is placed on the sex offender registry, their life is basically over".

    I would rather see all the lawmakers and any officials who support putting children on such an inhumane WORLD WIDE PUBLIC HUMILIATION REGISTRY arrested, tried and convicted of Cruel and Unusual Punishment and crimes against humanity.

    The laws that are in place such as the Adam Walsh Act are harming countless thousands of lives of men, women and children in the name of Justice.

    How long will the public, good citizens of America and the News Media at large allow this huge travesty of Justice to continue.

    Two kinds of Justice in America... One for the rich and politically connected and one for the common citizen.

    One gets prison or lifetime of branding, and the other gets to go free! Watch the video!

    April 9, 2009 at 4:11 pm |
  28. PJ

    1. Be under 18
    2. Setup child porn operation
    3. Profit $$!

    April 9, 2009 at 3:43 pm |
  29. Andy Frerichs

    This is a law that only ruins lives. Wasn't this supposed to protect children? Any 16 year old could text a semi-nude picture of themselves to their significant other, and be registered as a sex offender for LIFE.

    Why? Because they sent a picture of themselves. The only person that their actions punish are themselves already.

    Not to mention, all that this does is dilute the pool of sex offenders from those who are actually people that we should be wary of. Who is more dangerous – A serial rapist or a guy who texted a nude photo of himself to his girlfriend when he was 15?

    Well, now we can't tell the difference. Thanks, law.

    April 9, 2009 at 3:37 pm |
  30. Nick

    No! have we no rights! why shouldent teens be able to do stiff like that.

    April 9, 2009 at 10:17 am |
  31. Irishgirl

    I do not think they should be labeled as a sex offenders or persecuted. I do feel that they should be educated and be made to attend a class and counselling. Teach these kids about respecting oneself and respecting others and what that means to respect people, respect others peoples feelings and just a general caring of others no matter how mad or angry you are at someone.

    April 9, 2009 at 8:46 am |
  32. Andy

    I'm truly shocked by the reaction of those in support of putting these kids behind bars or on sex offender's lists. Do unto others as you would have them do unto you. I wonder if you felt the same way if the life of your kid was ruined because of a trifle like this. Let's say by accident, because I'm sure your kids are so well-behaved that they'd never do anything like this on purpose resisting peer pressure and also the urge to get even if they feel slighted... As for me, I would certainly like him sentenced if he commits a crime, and kick him in the ass and not talk to him for a month if he's so stupid that he sends a naked pic of his girlfriend to take revenge.

    April 9, 2009 at 6:52 am |
  33. Carolyn

    This is the most horrible thing I have ever heard of!! Hello listing them as sex offenders!!! Really first of all it's their body not the body of a innocent that has been violated, and second of all if you want to do something about educating them about the reprocutions of their actions then talk to them! Teens aren't totally stupid, just niave about the real world, and they think they are invincible. Just like we did when we were young! Remember skinny dipping?? With the bogus bull being thrown out there today we would have all been on the offenders list! Even most of the do gooders out there...This reminds me of the little child that got in trouble for sexual harrassment for kissing another little child in school, and those little ones didn't even know what sex was! Shame on who ever was dumb enough to think this on up!

    April 9, 2009 at 3:22 am |
  34. Connie

    NO!!! I do not think a teenager or an 18 year old (still a child in my book) should be put on a sex offender list. Yes, it's wrong but kids at this age do stupid things and often don't think before they act. If it was someone in their teens who was charged with something like this more then once, if would be a totally different story. A one time mistake should not punish an 18 year old for half of his life on a sex offender list. Why not be realistic and start classes in junior high and high school teaching the dangers of this type of behavior and warn of the consequences before over zealous prosecutors completely ruin a teen's life. Yet, I also understand how a teen can feel distraught over someone who betrayed her (or him) by forwarding pictures that were meant for their eyes only. The only real answer is, don't take the chance and just don't do it...period!

    April 9, 2009 at 12:57 am |
  35. Mary

    Child porn laws were meant to protect children, not ruin their lives further. Teenagers do ignorant things, sexting being one of many. If there should be a punishment for sexting, it should be a reasonable amount of hours of community service and/or counseling that will help them realize the dangers of sexting and assist them in readjusting their lives if their actions have already had a negative impact. Under no circumstance should a minor be required to register as a sex offender; their lives are already enough of a mess, so why add to it by ruining their reputation for the rest of their lives?

    April 8, 2009 at 11:49 pm |
  36. Ninja Dude

    People take about de-criminalizing marijuana. It is about intent. Do these kids intend to distribute porn, certainly not. It is proven, kids brains (frontal lobe) is not developed. They take all sorts of risky behavior as fun. Let kids be kids, and keep the damn do gooders from from spying on normal sexual development–if you want to put good kids in the system, you are part of the problem, not the solution.

    April 8, 2009 at 11:48 pm |
  37. Matt Mclendon

    No, this is not right, teens should not be convicted of being a sex offender. we need to sign a petition to get him off the list. As a 14-yr old youth pastor, i say forgive him, forget about the whole situation and take him off the list.

    April 8, 2009 at 11:42 pm |
  38. Kip

    When I look at the sex offender registry for my state, I want to know about real offenders, not horny teens that caught being stupid. Not only does the punishment not fit the crime, but it dilutes the effectiveness of such lists.

    We might as well just put sodomy laws back onto the books if we insist on treating teens this way.

    April 8, 2009 at 11:29 pm |
  39. me

    Obviously those who do not consider this a problem or crime have little knowledge of abuse and controlling personalities. The 'boys' who do this are the same ones who likely will in the future, if not already, become controlling BFs and abusive husbands and fathers later. So even if people want to consider these creeps as sex offenders or not, they are abusers, just a few years short of being arrested for domestic abuse.

    Try researching the patterns for abusive persons. The supposed 'innocent' sex offender guy is still in denial that he could no longer control his ex, and that is why he decided to be abusive to her and her family by sending the pictures. My money is 100% that if you follow his history, in 10 years he will be a wife beater.

    Want to know why abuse towards women is so high and getting worse? Just read most of the comments here. Ignorant. Just plain ignorant. So sad.

    Oh, and in case you think I am some sour feminist. You are soooo wrong. I am a guy. I just was taught and know how to respect ladies, and I know the patterns of abusive guys.

    April 8, 2009 at 11:25 pm |
  40. Mina

    No, a girl sends a picture to her boyfriend, a boy sends a picture to his girlfriend, one way or another unless the picture was taken with out the other party knowing why would your prosecute. These laws were set to protect our young children and if a person takes a picture or consents to take a picture they should know that it might not stay in the possession of that one person and should beware before consenting. But to prosecute this way out of bounds.

    April 8, 2009 at 11:17 pm |
  41. RKlein

    Why are these parents giving 12 year olds this sort of technology? They can have a phone that is used to call only them and no photography. The parents should be prosecuted for this.

    April 8, 2009 at 10:54 pm |
  42. Taryn (Terran)

    yes teens should get punished by the LAW... "sexting" is just like pornography think about it... why would you do it in the first place? i bet you money that the guy and or girl will forword the pictures to thier friends then they forword it to their firends and then it gets all over the web school and what not plus people think that they can have you... that your easy to get with that you DONT THINK about what you do before you do it.... so yes u need to be punished for "sexting"

    April 8, 2009 at 10:46 pm |
  43. cece pobobio

    This is wack, Dude.

    April 8, 2009 at 10:43 pm |
  44. Matt

    I've never agreed with this type of thing where the boy/girl is 18 and there's less than 3 years age difference between them. I don't think that should be statutory rape, nor that this person should be labeled a sex offender.

    However, I certainly think there should be some type of punishment for this type of activity. If our society is really to the point that we feels it's morally okay to allow teenagers to distribute such filth, we are in a dire position indeed.

    Shame on any of you who think this is somehow okay! This is pornography among our children! Just look at what pornography is doing to adults! How could you honestly encourage it among today's children?!

    April 8, 2009 at 10:40 pm |
  45. Liam

    the law is the law, too bad. a 12 year old is old enough to know right from wrong. they should absolutely be prosecuted. they need to serve as an example to other children. prison is the only way they will learn.

    i for one am glad this DA is standing up and doing the righteous thing. this country is in the gutter because of immorality like sexting.

    April 8, 2009 at 10:33 pm |
  46. Tyler

    Doesn't the law have bigger problems to worry about? Child porn doesn't really exist, but is only something created by humans and words. Yes stop adults from abusing children and forcing them into sex acts. But people are born naked, is it child pornography to videotape a birth? Same logic that's applied here. There's no need to 'educate' these people either. New generation, and they're saying it's "ok" to do this. Maybe it will help North Americans get over the fear of the human body. Let people enjoy their lives, butt out, and PROTECT the people.

    April 8, 2009 at 10:28 pm |
  47. A

    ABOSLUTELY! Let them understand what they are doing. It is wrong!

    April 8, 2009 at 10:20 pm |
  48. D.W.

    The prosecutors and DAs that try to convict teens as sex offenders for sending pictures of themselves are the true criminals here; they have been causing far more damage than a picture of a nude 17 year old ever can.

    April 8, 2009 at 10:11 pm |
  49. NightKoder

    YES, they should be prosecuted, but the punishment should fit the crime. The teen that sent the photo's and caused the girl to hang herself should be charged with Murder II. On the other hand, a "prank" that involved a single recipient and no material harm done should not cause the offender to be registered as an sex offender for the rest of his life.

    April 8, 2009 at 9:50 pm |
  50. Jane

    One issue here that I think is being overlooked is that the girls who send the pictures know what they are doing. The are sending a picture of themselves nude to someone else through a trackable and sharable technology. Yet then the receivers of these pictures are charged with child pornography. In an adult child pornography situation, the person who took the picture is charged as well as the person who receives the pictures.

    Does this mean the girl should be charged with child pornography for taking a picture of herself? Absolutely not! What needs to be put in place is specific laws pertaining to this unique situation. This is not older men (yes, the boy in the article was 18, but this goes on with boys and girls much younger than 18 as well.) molesting, raping, or forcing children to be in nude pictures. This is kids sharing pics among themselves.

    There needs to be laws put in place for kids for (1) the kids who take the original picture, whether of themselves or another person, (2) the person who receives the picture and keeps it for a period of time, and lastly, (3) the person who distributes the images. However, these laws and punishments would only pertain to those cases brought to court. Also, i do not see how pictures of a semi-clothed person (swimsuit, bra, towel, ect.) and a completely nude person can be grouped together. Semi-clothed are not always sexual, nude usually are.

    Like someone else said, should kids be labeled as sex offenders for self gratification? Isnt that molesting a child? How about kissing your boyfriend? Isnt that engaging in a sexual activity with a child? "Sexting" is in a league of its own- it is completely different from rape or child pornography obtained/created by an adult.

    I pray that people will see these differences and come to understand the situation and treat it uniquely.

    btw... i am a 15 year old girl, freshman in highschool xx

    April 8, 2009 at 9:15 pm |
  51. Kara

    I am a teenager myself however we are just teenagers and do without thinking.Sexting is not something new back when I was like 12 years old I heard about that stuff and I'm now 16.I think the police and all should be more worried about older people preying on underage kids.It's a waste of the officers time when they could be catching someone who really is a sex offender.

    April 8, 2009 at 8:46 pm |
  52. Anthology


    Essentially you're saying you'd rather outlaw something outright and bar everyone, regardless of context or maturity, from "sexting?
    I thought we founded this country because we wanted freedom from being ruled by the few- Letting us dictate ourselves within reason.
    So much for that.

    April 8, 2009 at 8:45 pm |
  53. Cal

    Come on, 18 years old young man, I don't think he is that innocent. Just like doing drug is a crime. The kids should know sending nude pictures of under age person in any kind of media is a crime. We all should blame the parents for their Kids behavior, please don't blame anybody else or the school and now blame the law. The kids' action reflects their parents' behavior and their teaching from home. Kids learn from their Parents starting when they were young. Education starts from home. Parents should take the responsibility to teach and educate their own kids. Stop using culture as an excuse. Corrupted culture should not be allowed and should be stopped. I think punishing the teen is necessary to set an example for other teenagers.

    April 8, 2009 at 8:44 pm |
  54. Mike

    What a retarded question. Use common sense everybody for once. There's not point in placing him on the list. Now he's going to be a burden on society as a whole. Great job morons. Now we'll all pay for this as he will be on welfare most likely since he can't make a decent life for himself.

    April 8, 2009 at 8:32 pm |
  55. Jim S

    Of course what these kids are doing is wrong and there should be consequences, but they should be proportional. A kid sending an inappropriate photo of themselves to friends is NOT the equivalent of someone who rapes a 5 year old. Sending a picture of a friend, in a moment of pique or as a bad joke is not the same thing as forcing a young child to endure forced sex and videotaping it for profit. Labeling these kids as sex offenders–for life–is using an A-bomb to kill a fly.

    Lets think before we do these things. Consensual sex between teenagers is not the end of the world. Sending these inappropriate photos should result in mild punishments that stress education and increased awareness, not draconian lifelong punishments.

    April 8, 2009 at 8:22 pm |
  56. Dave

    Liam April 8th, 2009 11:37 am ET

    The district attorney George Skumanick Jr who threatened to file charges against the 12 year old kids, compared sexting to robbing a bank. And you know what? He is absolutely right. sexting is a crime and these children should be sent to prison.



    April 8, 2009 at 7:53 pm |
  57. lhorn

    So when do we start using common sense in this country? When do teenagers start facing consequences for their actions? If you know something is stupid, then why do it? What is wrong with teenagers today? Sure, we made mistakes when we were kids and faced the consequences for doing so. It seems like everyone today wants to let teenagers get away with everything. Well, I say let them face the consequences for their stupid actions. And no, it's not okay to send naked pictures of each other over cell phones.

    April 8, 2009 at 7:52 pm |
  58. Dave

    KGM April 8th, 2009 10:53 am ET


    WOW, were you ever a kid? Prude. Never saw someone of the opposite sex naked when you were under 18? Do you ever remember being a teen? What were you locked up in a convent?

    April 8, 2009 at 7:50 pm |
  59. Dave

    Jeff April 8th, 2009 10:26 am ET

    This sort of activity is against the law, as it should be. Minors should not be engaging in pornographic material whatsoever. These people know they are breaking the law and they do it anyway. They should be held accountable for their actions and should recieve no special treatment. After a few more young people are forced to register as sex offenders, teens will reconsider sending pornographic images over the internet. That, or they will stop submitting them to pornographic websites for others to view – this usually happens when guys break up with their girlfriends and want to get even.

    Hey Jeff you're right they are MINORS and no most minors do not know the difference between right and wrong.
    And since when is a naked picture pornography?

    April 8, 2009 at 7:47 pm |
  60. Dave

    A girl sending a boy a naked picture of herself is not child pornography.
    Since when did a picture of the human body become pornography?
    They are not pictures of people engaged in a sexual act. If you call this child pornography I better get rid of all my old national Geographic magazines.
    Doesn't the American Bar Association have a code of ethics? I think this DA could stand to take a few classes on what constitutes a crime.

    April 8, 2009 at 7:44 pm |
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