Parents in Connecticut Should Know the Consequences of Teen “Sexting”
The term “sexting” is used to describe sending text messages, emails, or social media communications of a sexual nature. Often, sexting involves sending explicit photographs or videos. Many teenagers see sexting as harmless fun, but the consequences of sending explicit media can be profound. Many teenagers have had their private photographs leaked to unintended recipients and suffered other humiliating consequences. Furthermore, sending and receiving explicit photographs can lead to criminal charges including charges for child pornography.
Personal Consequences of Sexting
Teens may send sexual messages to get attention, to “fit in” with their peers, or for countless other reasons. Many teens think that sending messages through certain social media platforms like Snapchat ensures that the photograph or video cannot be saved and shared. However, nothing sent through the internet is ever completely private. According to Johns Hopkins All Children’s Hospital, sexting can lead to ridicule, embarrassment, and even mental health problems like depression and anxiety.
Legal Implications for Sending Sexual Images in Connecticut
Child pornography refers to photographs, videos, and other media that depict children in a sexual manner. Many teens do not realize that by sending sexually explicit photographs of themselves, they may technically be sending child pornography. Prior to recent changes in Connecticut law, there was no distinction between traditional child pornography and teen sexting. While the law now distinguishes between these two issues, sexting involving minors is still unlawful.
Per Connecticut’s teenage sexting law, it is against the law for a child under 18 years old to possess explicit photographs of someone under 16 years old. It is also illegal for a child under 16 to send explicit photographs of themselves to someone under 18 years of age. Violation of Connecticut’s teen sexting law is a Class A misdemeanor offense. Teens who violate this law are typically prosecuted through the juvenile justice system.
If the subject of an explicit photograph or video is under 13 years old or the recipient is an adult, the teen sexting law does not apply. This offense will likely fall under the umbrella of adult child pornography laws, which are felony offenses punishable by much harsher penalties. The Connecticut teen sexting law also does not apply to situations in which a recipient publishes the explicit photograph online or sends it to a larger audience.
Contact a Stamford, CT Child Pornography Defense Lawyer
Sending and receiving sexually explicit images depicting someone under 16 years old is against the law in Connecticut. If your child is facing charges under Connecticut’s teen sexting law or child pornography laws, you and your child need a strong legal advocate. Contact Fairfield County criminal defense attorney Daniel P. Weiner for help. Call 203-348-5846 for a free, confidential consultation.