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Take, for example, the scenario where a minor sends a nude picture to his or her partner and the partner later forwards the image to friends and classmates after the couple breaks up.
The second sender is clearly the bad actor, but the law treats everyone involved as felons.
If all parties involved were 18 or over, however, there is no crime whatsoever.
Further, current law penalizes harassment in underage sexting cases just as harshly as the perpetrator.
The frightening reality, however, is that our current child pornography laws coupled with modern technology have the potential to create a sex offender registry populated with the children it was intended to protect and a generation of teenagers who will reach the age of majority already convicted as child sex offenders.
This is not what child pornography laws were meant for, and the time has come to address the issue rationally and reasonably, before it is too late.
Moreover, with nearly one in four teenagers admitting to sexting, would any parent want to play the odds in believing that their child would never do such a thing?Sexting is a new twist on the timeless desire of teens and adults to engage in sexual expression.Sexting involves the practice of creating, sending and/or posting sexually suggestive images or video via mobile phone, email, or over the Internet, and everybody is getting in on the act.Sexting among adults is unquestionably protected expression under the First Amendment.For minors, unfortunately, sexting is an entirely different matter.