Further, the embarrassment of uncontrolled dissemination of personal and private pictures can significantly disrupt the teen's life.
For example, after hundreds of people were sent sext messages a teen had sent only to her boyfriend, she was cruelly harassed through My Space and Facebook, leading her to hang herself.
has sent sexually suggestive, nude or semi-nude "sext" messages by phone or otherwise.
This article discusses the high-stakes legal issues raised by sexting and their implications for counsel to teens, parents, and schools.
For example, Vermont recently enacted a law making a teenager's first "sexting" offense a juvenile court matter, giving the teen the opportunity to be sent to a diversionary program rather than be charged as an adult and branded a sex offender.
which would transform most sexting between teens from a felony to a noncrime by treating the teen in question as a nondelinquent minor in need of supervision under the Juvenile Court Act.
In addition to risking reputation and self-esteem, sexting teenagers also expose themselves, their peers, and their school administrators to significant criminal liability. Most alarmingly, a sexting minor, or a recipient of a sext message from a minor, may have committed one or more felonies under the Illinois Child Pornography Act (the "Act").
anyone he or she should know is under the age of 18 and who is engaged in any sexual act or in any pose involving lewd exhibition of unclothed or transparently clothed genitals, pubic area, buttocks, or female breast.
Finding and deleting an unsolicited sext message an hour after its receipt better demonstrates involuntary possession than does carrying a sext message on the phone for two months or more.
The Act dictates that cell phones used for sexting by minors must be For example, students who post prohibited pictures on their Facebook pages have likely violated federal criminal law. In Illinois, someone who commits the offense of child pornography is a "sex offender" and must register and report as such.
Because of their age, a vast majority of sexting teenagers attend school.