Teen faces child porn charges after tweeting nude pictures of herself

Teen faces child porn charges after tweeting nude pictures of herself

Should a teen be charged with child porn after tweeting nude pictures of herself?

A 16 year old teenager has been charged with child porn after tweeting nude pictures of herself in January.

The unnamed teenager posted photos on or around January 30. Eventually, word spread to a school resource officer, who contacted the girl and her mother.

Police in James City County, Virginia later confiscated the phone and charged the girl with one count of distributing child pornography.

Told Stephanie Williams-Ortery, a spokeswoman for the James City County Police Department: ‘It’s not just friends that see what they post but also strangers and everyone else out there,’

‘You have no idea who’s out there watching. You never know who’s going to see what you post.’

Who else might end up in trouble besides the 16 year old girl who first tweeted the image are her underage friends who also shared the images.

‘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,’ Williams-Ortery said.

If convicted, the girl will mostly likely have to attend a court-mandated sexting education program and will avoid having to register as a sex offender. There is a chance, however, that she could be sent to jail  and that could be a costly oversight (if that is what it was?) given that the mandatory minimum in the U.S. for distributing child pornography is five years.

At present it is not entirely understood why authorities have chosen to take such a literal meaning to a law whose intent was never to make or distribute child porn in the first place, save for their dislike of half naked images of young women which has these days has become the norm on social media.

Then again this may the new way albeit disquieting way of exploring one’s own sexuality?

In lieu of the harsh laws the dailydot goes on to note the following: Due to the harsh penalties of child pornography laws, as well as the youth of the defendants, many critics have argued that prosecuting minors for sexting is an “overzealous and inappropriate application of the criminal law,” as one civil rights attorney in Harrisburg Pa., where eight middle and high school students were charged with child porn possession last year, puts it. Advocates for stringent child pornography laws argue that prosecuting minors acts as a deterrent for other kids to avoid sexting themselves.

Last month, a Canadian teenager was convicted of child pornography possession and distribution after posting a nude photo of her boyfriend’s ex-girlfriend on Facebook, and a Halifax 14-year-old was arrested last year for posting a video of himself having (consensual) sex with his 15-year-old girlfriend.

And then there was this comment on the web that made me wonder:

If the point of the child porn law is to prevent the victimization of children by those who would exploit them, how can a child who voluntarily chooses to send nakey pics of herself be prosecuted for victimizing herself?

  • Jenny

    Good! Teens have been spreading things like this for too long! They spread nudes of themselves without trouble and people who download it get the shit. Of course, I’m not pro child pornography or people who download it. But, there’d be a lot less in this world if teens would stop taking these pictures. It’s only stimulating trouble!