A teenage boy in North Carolina has been prosecuted for having nude pictures of himself on his own mobile phone. The young man, who is now 17 but was 16 at the time the photos were discovered, had to strike a plea deal to avoid potentially going to jail and being registered as a sex offender.
Experts condemned the case as ludicrous. The boy was, however, punished by the courts, and had to agree to be subject to warrantless searches by law enforcement for a year, in addition to other penalties.
The young man was also named in the media and suffered a suspension as quarterback of his high school football team while the case was being resolved.
[redacted], of Fayetteville, North Carolina, was prosecuted as an adult under federal child pornography felony laws, for sexually exploiting a minor. The minor was himself...
[redacted] was charged with four counts of making and possessing images of himself and one count of possessing a naked image of his 16-year-old girlfriend.
His girlfriend, [redacted], took a plea deal after being prosecuted on similar charges for having naked, suggestive pictures of herself on her cellphone.
While the pictures were technically illegal, actual sex would not be – the age of consent for sexual intercourse in North Carolina is 16...
He was prosecuted for having his own and his girlfriend’s image, despite them not having been shared further...
The legal bind came because the two were over 16 and so could be charged as adults in North Carolina, as is common with some felonies – but the crimes they were being charged with related to laws against sexually exploiting minors.
Each was therefore simultaneously the adult perpetrator who is considered a predator and the minor victim who needs protecting by the law...
“There are about 10 or 12 mostly conservative states where they will prosecute kids for this,” said Lane, “and it’s a kind of moral values thing – they are trying to make an example of them because it’s believed to be inappropriate behaviour.
30 November 2019
Teens convicted of exploiting themselves
As reported in The Guardian: