A teen boy might end up spending years in prison for sending a sexually explicit video to his teen girlfriend. The 17-year-old boy has been charged with two felony counts of possessing child pornography and manufacturing child pornography after he reportedly sent a video of his penis to his 15-year-old girlfriend, after she reportedly sent him her own explicit photos. Despite this being totally consensual, the teen could end up doing four years prison time and being entered into the sexual offenders database for life. Additionally, authorities apparently want a picture of the boy's penis for themselves. So to speak.
The case, which is happening in Manassas City, Virginia, may involve authorities forcibly bringing the teen to a hospital so they can give him an injection to make him erect.
The teen's defense lawyer, Jessica Harbeson Foster, is outraged, saying:
How does this advance the interest of the Commonwealth? This is a 17-year-old who goes to school every day, plays football, has never been in trouble with the law before. Now he's saddled with two felonies and the implication that he's a sexual predator.
The lawyer is trying to stop police from bringing him to the hospital for a forcible erection.
Well, we have officially demonized sexual behavior between consenting teens. The teen girl in question never even complained about the video the boy sent her -- it was her mother who did that.
The case had already been dismissed once in juvenile court, but police allegedly came up with new charges, re-arrested the teen, and then took photos of his genitals against his will. It's unclear why they would need more genitalia pics if they've already got them.
The teen court appointed guardian wants to know why the police can essentially create their own child pornography while charging a teen for creating his. Good question.
Look, people, the spirit of the law about child pornography is being violated here. Sorry to break it to you, teens have sex. They send each other nude photos. We as a society bombard teens every single day with sexually explicit ads, TV shows, movies, and song lyrics. Corporations make billions off the knowledge that teens want to have sex. Then, when they do, we -- literally -- make a federal case out of it.
Said the teen's court appointed guardian:
We're wasting thousands of dollars and resources and man hours on a sexting case. That's what we're doing.
Yup. Agreed. So maybe we don't want kids sexting each other. So sit them down and teach them. Teach them why it's not a good idea (how about the fact that this stuff can be leaked online and never go away).
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But making teens criminals, giving them criminal records that will follow them the rest of their lives, making it difficult for them to find jobs and housing? Just stupid and wrong.
Let's spend our resources finding the real predators out there, shall we?
Do you think he should have been arrested? What about going to prison?
Image via Carlssa Rogers/Flickr