Could your child’s cell phone put him in PRISON???

by Susan

Seriously, parenting gets scarier every day!

A shocking post on Scribbit is circulating through Twitter and in case it didn’t hit your stream, I wanted to grab your attention here.

It’s about something I had never even thought about before…

teens textingThe wretched and hugely common new teenage pastime of Sexting is not only traumatic from the social and emotional damages it can cause, sending or receiving a text message with a nude photo can actually send your child to PRISON… for a long, long time!!!

While I’m thankful my girls are still only 2 and 5 and I don’t yet have to warn them of the dangers of sexting, I worry about all the children who are at risk for being abused by sexting and for those who don’t realize how serious what they are doing really is.

Regardless of the age of your children, please read this critically important insight into the legal dangers of sexting written by Luke Nichols, a criminal defense attorney in the Washington D.C. area.

Remember that even if your child is not the one who initiates the text message, if he/she is caught with it on his/her phone, it can mean prison time.

Consider this scenario… your 17 year old son ends up on the receiving list of a text message from a kid at school who thought it’d be fun to brag about having a nude photo of his 17 year old girlfriend. Later that day in school, a teacher takes your son’s phone away for texting during class. The teacher decides to check the phone and sees the nude photo. The teacher reports your son to authorities and he could go to prison for the “felony of possession of child pornography.”

Luke explains as far as the law is concerned, “If you are caught with it, it doesn’t matter what your intentions were, you are going to jail.”

As parents we must warn our children about all the issues related to sexting. Whether our kids are at risk for being violated in a photo sent from a camera phone as a text message or they may be on the sending or receiving end of such a message, we need to ensure they understand the moral, social and legal ramifications of their actions.

Please read the article Sexting: One More Thing for Parents to Worry About and tell all the parents you know to read it as well.

 

Written by 5 Minutes for Mom co-founder Susan.
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Email Author    |    Website About Susan

Susan Carraretto and her identical twin, Janice Croze, created 5 Minutes for Mom in 2006. Susan loves all social media, but her top addiction these days is Pinterest. She recently published a children's book titled "The Pest Detectives" which you can download now in digital format for free.

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{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

1 ibeeeg August 24, 2010 at 8:44 pm

Geesh…this is scary stuff! One more thing to add to my list of stuff to talk to the girls about, and another thing to worry a bit about. The thing is, it is terribly difficult for a parent of a teenager to completely monitor them. What is worse, is that your child could be held responsible for something that was *sent* to them regardless if they asked for it or not. That too me is crazy and beyond reason. I have not read the linked article yet. I am off to do so now.

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2 A August 24, 2010 at 8:52 pm

When my adoptive daughter with disabilities was conned into sending a nude pix of herself,
I found out that she can be charged for sending it because she was underage. Not only could she be charged with sending it, anyone receiving it or opening it can also be charged. Being nieve and manipulated could also land her on the sexual abuse registry for 10 to 20 years.

I was the one who found it, reported it and found out the rules as this person who was befriending my disabled daughter was actually 47. After they researched my daughters computer usage, her email, and with her psychiatrists/physicians reports they realized she is a vulnerable child and a victim. They put her on probation until her l8th birthday, and no computer, phone or internet use without an adult in presence. She got off lucky.

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3 Michelle at Scribbit August 25, 2010 at 12:08 am

Thanks for helping to spread the word on this–parents definitely need to know.

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4 Sara August 25, 2010 at 3:40 am

It is very serious and I know because I have a very dear friend dealing with this situation right now. Only it involves both her son AND her husband.

The son received the offending text message and sent it to his father to show him what another kid had sent him. The girl’s parents found out and reported all the kids who received the message and it was determined that my friend’s son had sent it to another person – his father.

The boy is being charged with possession and distribution of child pornography and the father is charged with possession. It has been a horrible experience for this family. And because the law does not allow for juvenile’s names to be made public but does for adults, the father’s name has been in the media for possession of child pornography.

The ramifications are significant with this type of ‘innocent intimacy’. Thank you for giving this very serious crime a platform.

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5 Janice August 25, 2010 at 6:36 pm

What drives me CRAZY about these laws, along with statutory rape laws, is that the court should be INTELLIGENT and respons APPROPRIATELY to situations that clearly do fall under criminal INTENT!!!!

It is CRIMINAL that children who RECEIVE a message should be held responsible for committing a crime. COME ON! The courts and the police should practice common sense and not have the out of date laws destroy innocent people’s lives.

It makes me CRAZY!!!!

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6 Kristie August 26, 2010 at 1:09 pm

It’s crazy how long it takes the law to catch up with technology. This is a truly scary concept. You really have no control over who sends you a text. I am glad my kids are still small and we are not there yet with this stuff, but it will be here before we know it!

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