Here we go again. Another case of sexting wherein no adults are involved. How will this be handled?
The children involved in the Pyle incident “could be charged with child porn distribution, manufacturing or possession” said Montgomery County police Sgt. C. Thomas Jordan. “It’s a mess to figure out, and once it is, it’ll be up to prosecutors to determine how to proceed.”
Child pornography laws in Maryland and Virginia, as well as federal laws, treat all images of the underaged as child pornography. If prosecutors chose to move forward with the charges Jordan listed, the adolescents would face stiff penalties: A minimum of 10 years in prison for manufacturing or distributing. The kids could spend their lives on a sex offender registry mixed in with rapists and pedophiles.
Sorry, but that would be a travesty. These kids are doing stupid things that may be criminal, but there is no way they should end up on the sex offender registry. The girls posed voluntarily. The criminal part is in the distribution of the photos and videos. Even that should not put these kids on the registry (at least not permanently).
The problem with the sex offender registries is that it is very hard to tell exactly what the crime was and exactly when it happened. The dates in the registry often indicate the last action on the case and no the date of the offense. Thus, it can look like a 20 year old man did something to a 14 year old girl when, in fact, it happened when the man was a 15 year old teenager.
Even if it is decided that these teens are put on the registry, there needs to be more detail provided on the nature of the crime and the age of the offenders when the crime was committed.