Sexting amounts to child pornography in the eyes of the law - NBC12 - WWBT - Richmond, VA News On Your Side

Sexting amounts to child pornography in the eyes of the law

When it comes to parenting, this issue is another challenge in the brave new world of social media. (Photo Source: WMC Action News 5 file) When it comes to parenting, this issue is another challenge in the brave new world of social media. (Photo Source: WMC Action News 5 file)
More than 100 Virginia teenagers are under investigation for sharing child pornography, even if they were simply sexting with their friends.

Teens sexting, or sending nude photos to a boyfriend or girlfriend, could end up facing felony charges. 

Apps like Snapchat, Wickr, and Oovoo allow users to take a photo or video, send it, then the image self destructs on the other end in a matter of seconds.

"It's almost like a sneaky way of sexting," Renita Kellam told WMC-TV.

The photos can be captured with a screenshot and once it is, you don't have any ability to remove that image from their phone. It's saved into their pictures and from there they can do whatever they want with it.

While some teens may not care those photos could last forever, they likely don't know the pics they send while sexing could land them in jail.

Stacey Bigley's been beside herself since police came after her 17-year-old nephew Trey Simms, according to WMC-TV.

"There are real criminals out there, every day and you're wasting pretty much government money, tax payer money," Bigley told the TV station. "I don't know whose money. you're wasting people's money by going after a child."

Police seized Trey's iPhone and iPad and charged him with manufacturing and distributing child pornography in January for sexting with a girl he was dating who was a minor.

Taking the nude photo can be considered manufacturing child pornography and sending it can be considered distribution for minors. The recipient can also be charged with possession of child pornography, even if they're underage as well.

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