For example, individuals who are dating might send each other nude pictures.
Because, however, the pictures involved in sexting are digital, it is easy for recipients to distribute them in ways that the original sender never intended or imagined.
We expect the case, to be decided sometime this year.
For now, these cases are happening around the country, and kids really are being convicted of felonies and registered as sex offenders for taking intimate pictures of themselves. While we don’t have to acquiesce to such behavior, criminal penalties are not the solution.
Child pornography laws, originally designed to protect children from adult predators, criminalize both consensual and non-consensual sexting where the person in the photo is under 18. One cannot understate the severity of these penalties when applied to the very minors the law was intended to protect from exploitation.
Because child pornography laws were not intended to address sexting, the legal consequences for teens engaging in sexting are truly bizarre.
One may have any number of personal objections to sexting, but as long as sexted images are taken voluntarily and shared consensually, it is none of the government’s business.
To make matters worse, prosecutors in this state and elsewhere actually have been enforcing these draconian laws against sexting teenagers.
What if being wrong means five years in jail for your child?
Consensual sexting should not be a crime for teens or adults.
However, as the ACLU has explained in a letter to prosecutors in Washington, prosecutors can and should exercise their discretion to avoid treating teen sexting incidents the same as adult exploitation of children.
_____Updated June 2017 Sexting is a new twist on the timeless desire of teens and adults to engage in sexual expression.