Sexting could result in Minneapolis teens facing child pornography charges

For Minneapolis teens, technologies like social media and cellphones have been around their entire lives. It's no surprise then that teens are among the most prevalent and savvy users of social media and cellphone apps. These teen boys and girls readily rely upon digital technologies to communicate with and send images to friends often multiple times per day.

Some law enforcement officials and parents believe, however, that many teens have grown too relaxed and even reckless with the types of communications being sent via computers and cellphones. This seems to be especially true when it comes to issues surrounding the practice of so-called sexting.

Sexting occurs when one individual sends a message or photograph that is sexually explicit in nature to another individual via a cellphone text message. For a number of reasons, the process of distributing and possessing such material may not be wise. It is, however, considered a legal practice among consenting adults. However, for teens under the age of 18, the practice of sexting is not only a particularly bad idea, but it's also illegal and may result in a teen facing sex crimes charges related to the distribution and possession of child pornography.

Even in cases where a teen willingly took and sent a sexually explicit photo of himself or herself to another teen, both the sender and receiver may face criminal charges related to child pornography. Law enforcement officials take matters related to child pornography extremely seriously and existing laws don't take consensual sexting into consideration. What's more, many teens who engage in sexting don't understand the potential ramifications of doing so nor do they realize that these types of images are stored and can be tracked to their cellphones.

Source: WMC-TV, "'Sexting' could land teens in jail," Sasha Jones, Aug. 7, 2014

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