Sexting has become a hot topic in middle schools and high schools across the United States and it involves the sharing of visually graphic material between teenagers who typically use their mobile phones or messaging services to transmit suggestive or nude photos. Between consenting adults, the private choice to share suggestive or nude pictures is typically not illegal, however, this does not mean that adults should or can engage in sexting freely.
There are certain situations in which sexting by an adult could lead to criminal charges. One such example includes an adult who shares or receives a sexual image of a child under the age of 18. Technically, this is considered child pornography and could lead to possession or sending child pornography charges. Some states have even put in place defenses against child pornography charges for teens who engage in sexting but these defenses will not apply to older adults.
It is also a crime to ask children under the age of 18 to share nude photos of themselves and this may be referred to as child enticement. This is true even if a law enforcement officer is posing as a child as part of a sting operation to catch somebody who may be involved in child pornography.
Many people have been arrested and even convicted for sex crimes after they had begun a conversation online with someone who is posing as a teenage boy or a girl. An adult who sends a sexual or nude photo of themselves to a child could also be convicted of a crime such as obscenity and an adult who shares sexual or nude photos of another adult without that person’s permission could typically be charged with harassment. Fighting back against these charges with a criminal defense attorney is critical.
The articles on this blog are for informative purposes only and are no substitute for legal advice or an attorney/client relationship. If you are seeking legal advice, please contact our law firm directly.