Teen Arrested For "Sexting" Offenses
Special Report - September 3, 2010
An 18-year-old male from Zebulon, NC was arrested September 1 after sending sexually explicit texts to a 14-year-old girl. The teen has been charged with “one count of disseminating obscene material to a minor, one count of first-degree sexual exploitation of a minor, and one count of third-degree sexual exploitation of a minor,” according to the Raleigh News & Observer. The paper also reported that the warrant indicated the texts were sent on May 23, and the teen encouraged the girl to “produce images depicting sexual acts and poses of herself.”
The sending of sexually explicit images or messages between teenagers via cell phones and other digital devices has become a growing national trend and is referred to as “sexting.” As noted in our recent article, “Teen ’Sexting:’ How One NC County is Taking On a Dangerous and Growing Trend,” there are currently eight North Carolina statutes that may be violated by sexting, according to the Alamance County District Attorney’s office. These include:
- Dissemination of Material Harmful to Minors, which carries a misdemeanor level penalty.
- Disseminating Obscenity, which carries a felony level penalty.
- Creating, Buying, Procuring, or Possessing Obscenity with Intent to Distribute, which carries a felony level penalty.
- Disseminating Obscene Material to a Minor Under Age 16 or 13, which carries a felony level penalty.
- Using a Minor to Assist in an Obscenity Offense, which carries a felony level penalty.
- First Degree Sexual Exploitation of a Minor, which carries a felony level penalty.
- Second Degree Sexual Exploitation of a Minor, which carries a felony level penalty.
- Third Degree Sexual Exploitation of a Minor, which carries a felony level penalty.
Parents, teachers, school administrators, counselors, and any other adults who spend time with teens can familiarize themselves with sexting and how it can be addressed by reading our article. It may be especially helpful to download the Summer 2010 issue of Family North Carolina magazine in order to also read additional information on the legal implications of sexting, and tips for parents.
Teen "Sexting" - FNC Summer 2010
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