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Thursday, February 6, 2014

16 Year Old Virginia Girl Posts Nude Photos of Herself on Twitter and Emails them to Male Acquaintances. She has Been Charged in James City County with Production and Distribution of Child Porn and Those Who Received the Unsolicited Photos May Face Possession of Child Pornography Charges. Why?

 
There was a bill at the 2014 Virginia General Assembly session (still going on) to fix the issues with Teen Sexting images being treated the same a Child Pornography. HB1260 

No surprise. A bill I supported, that would have a fixed a long time issue was killed as quickly as possible by the House Criminal Sub-Committee, history tends to repeat itself in House Room C. 

A week ago, in Charles City County a 16 Year old Virginia female posted nude photos of herself on Twitter and emailed the images to male acquaintances.  

Per the below two article she has been charged with Production and Distribution of Child Pornography. As a juvenile if she is found guilty of this felony she will NOT be forced to register as a Sex Offender IF she follows all court-order requirements of probation. 

The issue of the males she sent those unsolicited images to is still undetermined. Will they be charged with receiving the images that by law constitute Child Pornography? Are they also juveniles or did they recently turn 18 years old? IF they did then they will be required to register as Sex Offenders, for life. 

A 16 year old female took photos of herself under no threat, suggestion or financial requirement. She then sent those images out into the universe to unsuspecting young men who may face criminal charges, public humiliation and maybe the public stigma of Sexual Deviant. 

Why? 

Because Virginia’s Legislature refuses to separate real child pornography and the criminal penalties that come with such vial abuse of children and the actions of teenagers who have Internet access, telephones with cameras and typical hormones and feelings of being accepted by ones peers. 

The two situations have nothing to do with each other but under our laws they are one in the same. 

The “tabling” of HB1260 on January 29 is shameful. Elected Virginia official took NO vote, submitted NO substitutes or even ONE amendment. Just the same old denial and stubbornness that has been allowed for far too long.  

Virginia is failing our teens and young adults. It could have been fixed during this session and you chose not to take any steps forward, instead the majority of the House Courts of Justice Criminal Sub--Committee hunkered-down in their insistence that Virginia doesn’t need to look at Teen Sexting being a felony.

If any readers Delegate is on the Criminal Sub-Committee and you can not believe they didn’t even attempt to draft an acceptable bill but instead just shot it down I suggest you contact their Richmond office this week. 

Mary
 
Virginia Teen Girl Accused Of Posting Nude Selfies, Arrested For Child Porn by David Lohr

A 16-year-old Virginia girl is facing child pornography charges, after police say she posted photos of herself naked on Twitter. 

Authorities received an anonymous tip describing the photos, which were posted to Twitter around Jan. 30. The girl, a student in James City County, admitted to posting "multiple" lewd photos of herself to the social networking website last week, according to police. 
 

"One of our school resource officers made contact with her and her mother," Stephanie Williams-Ortery, a spokeswoman for the James City County Police Department told The Huffington Post. 

"The young lady acknowledged that she had posted the pictures of herself [and] the mother acknowledged that the photos were of her daughter," Williams-Ortery said. 

According to police, the girl, who has not been named, also admitted to sending photos directly to male acquaintances she was hoping to impress. She has been charged as a juvenile with felony "possession, reproduction, distribution, solicitation and facilitation of child pornography," Williams-Ortery said. 

Not everyone in the community agrees with how police are handling the case. 
 
"I don't think she should be charged with child pornography, because she is a child herself," parent Emily Altman told WAVY.com 

"That is distributing child pornography?" said parent Dometre Mobley. "She is a child." 

However, because the girl is charged as a juvenile Virginia law would not require her to register as a sex offender, if she is found guilty, so long as she fulfills her obligations to the court.
 

Video: Teen accused of tweeting nude selfies   by Ginger Whitaker, Anita Blanton, Lauren Compton

According to Stephanie Williams-Ortery with the James City County Police Department, officers received an anonymous tip about nude pictures posted on Twitter by the 16-year-old girl. It is unclear how many pictures were involved, but police say they were posted either on or around Jan. 30.  

Williams-Ortery said photos were also sent to some boys. 

A school resource officer was notified, and spoke with the teen and her mother. 

“It’s not just friends that see what they post but also strangers and everyone else out there,” said Williams-Ortery. “You have no idea who’s out there watching. You never know who’s going to see what you post.” 

The teen’s phone was confiscated for evidence, and she was charged with one count of distribution of child pornography. Williams-Ortery said other teens should be aware that they stand to get in trouble for pictures of this nature too, even if they aren’t the one’s who took the photo. 

“I would hope that they would not then forward it on to their friends because then they become guilty also of distribution of child pornography, whether they know that or not,” Williams-Ortery said. 

WAVY.com was informed that in the juvenile system this young woman and her parents could be ordered to complete a Sexting Education program. But there’s also the chance this could end up in court as a criminal matter with jail time as a possibility. 

10 On Your Side talked to local parents who were surprised to hear the teen’s charge was so severe.

“I don’t think she should be charged with child pornography, because she is a child herself, but if she was 18 or older of course,” said parent Emily Altman. 

“That is distributing, child pornography?” said parent Dometre Mobley. “She is a child, I don’t know what to think of that really.” 

Police say the teen crossed the line of sexting to child porn because of the lewdness of the photos. 

Parents may also be surprised to know investigators say they are seeing a surge in these types of cases because teens see it as harmless sexting.



James City County 'sexting' case raises many legal questions, February 12, 2014
Virginia law defines pornography broadly; prosecutors are supposed to make good calls
http://articles.dailypress.com/2014-02-12/news/dp-nws-sexting-0213-20140212_1_james-city-county-virginia-gazette-juvenile-cases