Sexting is a new term for many Wisconsin residents and parents. It has only been around for a few years, but it is growing quickly in popularity, especially among minors. Despite what many parents believe, no one is too young to be charged with sexting-related sex crimes in the United States.

Many minors will take photographs or videos of themselves to send to their boyfriends and girlfriends. These children often see nothing wrong with what they are doing. However, the circulation of these photos and videos is technically considered child pornography. 

What is more important is that children do not understand how far their photos and videos can go. Even though a photograph or video was initially taken for a single person to see, it can easily be shared with that individual’s friends, who then share it with their friends and so on. Eventually, the entire school and possibly individuals outside of the school have seen the photo or video. 

Any person who sent or received that “sext” is at risk of being charged with a sex crime, such as possession of or distribution of child pornography. This is true even if the individuals in question are minors. This is why it is so important for parents to take the time to speak to their children about what sexting is, what the consequences of partaking in such activity are and how it can prove to be exceedingly dangerous. 

For Wisconsin parents who have a teen facing sex crimes charges related to sexting, it is important that the child’s rights are protected. The child’s future is literally on the line in a case like this. However, in some cases, the minors have no idea that they committed crimes, and a strong criminal defense may be able to help them to avoid harsh criminal penalties. 

Source: wbay.com, “School Planning Sexting Talk for Parents”, Sarah Thomsen, Feb. 9, 2015

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