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How ‘sexting’ can destroy lives

“Sexting” is the act of consensually swapping sexually explicit photos via text messages over the phone. Since it’s consensual, many people don’t realize that it can also be a crime — particularly when it involves a minor.

It can also be a crime even when you send an explicit photo of a minor for ostensibly reasonable purposes. Consider this common scenario:

  • Your teenage daughter sends a topless photo to her teenage boyfriend at his encouragement and he sends back an explicit photo of his own.
  • You find out and send a copy of the boyfriend’s sext to your phone so that you can confront the boyfriend’s parents about what’s happening. You forward the sext to them as proof.
  • Angry at you and your daughter, the boyfriend’s parents contact the police and show them the explicit photo you sent.

The next thing you know, your daughter and her boyfriend are all arrested for possessing and disseminating child pornography. The charges can upend your life for years and lead to long-lasting professional and social complications for you all.

Under Connecticut law, sexting between juveniles is a crime — and sending explicit photos of a minor to anyone (regardless of your intentions) can be considered a felony. Many people, especially teenagers and their parents, are not aware of the legal ramifications of sexting. Teens, in particular, are prone to thinking that “everyone does it” and believe there won’t be any consequences if they join in.

If your teen is caught sending sexually explicit content or in possession of those kinds of images, the charges can be serious. Get experienced legal assistance immediately to help protect their future.