In Massachusetts, Holbrook police are investigating a complaint by a juvenile girl that videotaped footage of her having having sexual intercourse with her boyfriend was texted to classmates and friends. Both the girl and her boyfriend are minors. The Norfolk District Attorney is investigating the girl’s claims and a “statutory rape” charge may be filed.
This is not the first Massachusetts sexting incident to garner media attention. Earlier this month, three students from Mansfield High School were suspended. They are accused of downloading naked pictures of a classmate who is a minor. The pictures were also posted on the Internet and handed out in print format around the Massachusetts school.
Last month, a number of middle school students in Falmouth were accused of transmitting naked pictures of a 13-year-old female via text message. In January, over 100 cell phones in Billerica may have received and/or sent a naked picture of a 14-year-old girl.
In Massachusetts, sexting is being treated as a sexual crime that could result in adult charges and penalties, including time behind bars and mandatory registration as a sex offender. Meantime, prosecutors in other US states are also treating this latest teen craze seriously.
In Pennsylvania, a 15-year-old girl is suing a local prosecutor who is threatening to file an open lewdness charge against her and a friend for taking pictures of themselves in their bras and transmitting them via text. The teen, Marissa Miller, claims she did nothing wrong.
In another sexual crimes-related case involving a teenager using current technology to express her sexuality, child pornography and distribution of child pornography charges were filed in New Jersey against a 14-year-old girl who posted almost 30 nude pictures of herself on her MySpace Web site.
These arrests are sparking a debate on whether filing criminal charges is the right penalty for these teens, especially as many of them may not even be aware they are breaking the law.
‘Sext’ flick shocker: Holbrook police investigating phone video, Boston Herald, March 30, 2009
Girls threatened with porn charge sue prosecutor, AP, March 26, 2009
NJ girl, 14, arrested after posting nude pics on MySpace, Boston Herald, March 27, 2009
Related Web Resources:
Juvenile sex crimes far from uncommon, WickedLocal.com, February 10, 2009
‘Sexting’ in Massachusetts Could Lead to Child Pornography Charges and Sex Offender Status, Altman & Altman, LLP, March 24, 2009
“Sexting” Shockingly Common Among Teens, January 15, 2009
Massachusetts Sexual Offender Registry
Our Boston sexual crimes lawyers have successfully represented juveniles charged with Massachusetts crimes. Contact Altman & Altman LLP today.