Sexting incidents may be treated as sex crimes in some situations

One teenager in Louisiana is facing a child pornography possession charge after police said he engaged in sexting with his girlfriend. The male teen facing the charge is 17, while his girlfriend is 16. Anyone facing charges involving sex crimes has the right to defend his or her innocence and is always presumed innocent until and unless proved guilty in court.

Police said the girlfriend of the 17-year-old boy, an athlete in high school, sent him a video that was sexually explicit. He responded to her with his own racy video. Research shows that engaging in this behavior, known as sexting, is becoming increasingly common among teens today.

The 17-year-old boy's parents have accused police of focusing on their son simply because he is black and his girlfriend is white. However, police said they were focusing on him because his girlfriend is still considered a minor, but, under state law, 17-year-old individuals can be tried as adults. Since the male teen had the video, this video is said to constitute child pornography.

Convictions for sex crimes in Louisiana can have lasting consequences for people's futures, including preventing them from getting particular jobs. As this child pornography case moves forward, the teenage boy who has been charged may be given the opportunity, alongside his defense counsel, to negotiate a plea agreement with the prosecutors. A plea deal may offer the benefit of leading to lighter charges and/or a lighter sentence than what may result from a guilty verdict at trial. The accused individual still has the right to proceed to trial if he considers this to be in his best interest.

Source: fusion.net, "This black 17 year old is facing child pornography charges for sexting his 16-year-old white girlfriend", Charles Pulliam-Moore, May 2, 2016

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