It has happened again. A 15-year-old Newark, Ohio girl has been charged with felony child pornography charges for sending nude photographs of herself to a classmate in a text message.
Thats right, this is not the first time something like this has occurred.
In the most recent case, the girl has been charged with, "possessing criminal tools and the illegal use of a minor in nudity-oriented material" for sending a nude picture of herself to a 13-year-old boy and other classmates.
The 13-year-old was also arrested for receiving the picture message. None of the other classmates have been detained or charged.
I guess no one realizes that the boy had no way of knowing what was in the message until he actually opened it.
"There's a totally false perception among juveniles that there is no risk to this," prosecutor Ken Oswalt told ABCNews.com. "That picture, once taken and sent, gives anyone who receives it the ability to do anything with it, forever. If a picture of you found its way onto the Internet, that's going to haunt you, potentially forever."
That picture might haunt her forever? What about a felony sex offense? I guess this girl is lucky she did not get charged with sexually abusing a minor.
The girl may receive a punishment of several years in a juvenile detention center and forced registration as a sex offender. This new status could prevent her from living within a specified radius of any school, church, or park for the rest of her life. It may also force her to inform all of her neighbors that she is a sex offender when she moves.
So now, not only does she have nude pictures of herself floating around, but she also has the stigma of being labeled a sex offender hanging over her head. But hey, that is the law and ignorance is no excuse.
It is also interesting to note that any person that she sent the text message to could be punished under federal law to ten years in prison for each picture. Let me repeat that: ten years in federal prison for receiving an unsolicited text message that contained nude pictures of a teen girl.
It could happen to anyone.
So think twice before you open a picture message (or e-mail for that matter) as it could lead to a felony sex offense.