‘Sexting’ could come with extreme consequences for teens

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by Hayley Guenthner & KREM.com

KREM.com

Posted on October 8, 2012 at 7:43 AM

Updated Friday, Nov 8 at 4:29 PM

SPOKANE -- An adult in possession of graphic images of under age children can be charged with having child pornography.  Local law enforcement says the law is the same for teenagers who “sext”.

It isn’t just adults who can get in trouble for sending or viewing sexual images of anyone under the age of 16.

Washington state law says even if both the sender and receiver of sexual pictures are under age, they could face criminal charges.  That means if two 15 year olds are “sexting” pictures back and fourth both could technically be convicted of possessing and distributing child pornography.  Part of their punishment would be having to register as a sex offender.

We talked to several teenagers who say texting sexual images is something that happens daily.

The Spokane County Sheriff’s Office says charges against minors are few and far between because deputies often leave punishment up to the family.

We also talked to some parents, who worry parents won’t take “sexting” seriously.

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