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Sexting

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Overview

Sexting is the transmission of suggestive material via text messages. It can include the sending of photographs, requests for photographs, sexual-themed jokes, requests for sexual encounters and more. It is increasingly common, and occurs in all areas of the country.

One common legal issue related to the practice arises when sexting involves one or more minor children.  The transmission of sexually explicit images of an underage individual could violate child pornography laws, even if the recipient of the images is another minor.  Sexting between an adult and a child would likely result in enticement or corruption of a minor charges.

The United States Court of Appeal for the Third Circuit heard oral arguments on January 15, 2010 in the case of Miller v. Mitchell, a suit filed by the parents of three minor girls against a Pennsylvania prosecutor after he threatened to prosecute the girls for producing and distributing child pornography for sexting nude and semi-clothed pictures of themselves to classmates.  The American Civil Liberties Union, who is representing the plaintiffs, argued that the prosecution violated the girls' First Amendment rights.

On March 30, 2009, United States District Court Judge James Munley of the Middle District of Pennsylvania temporarily blocked the prosecution of the girls.  The prosecutor, Wyoming County District Attorney George Skumanick Jr., then appealed the decision to the Third Circuit.

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Links

Teacher Accused Of Sexting Student (KPTV Portland)

Teacher Accused Of ‘Sexting’ Student Goes To Trial (WKRG News)

2010 Legislation Related to "Sexting" (NCSL)


See Also


Ontario vs. Quon

Privacy

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