Kids with cell phones quickly learn how much freedom they have to communicate confidentially with their peers. It is not the same as it was just a few decades ago when the only phone in the house was on the kitchen wall, and calls were taken with no expectation of privacy. However, police in Iowa are concerned that some kids have a false sense of privacy when they send certain messages to their friends. This may cause them to take dangerous chances, risking damage to their reputations, threats to their safety and felony charges.
It is called “sexting,” and it involves sending lewd images of oneself to someone else. Police say it is prevalent among girls ages 12 to 16, and this is what complicates the already delicate situation. Sending or requesting images of a minor, even if the person requesting is a minor, is a felony. If the person sends or received lewd images of a minor across state lines, federal charges could result.
In addition to the criminal charges involved, many young people do not realize the long-term effect sexting may have on their lives. While they may believe they are sending an image to one particular person, once they hit send, the image is out of their control. It is common for those images to become public very quickly, causing irreparable harm.
Iowa police encourage parents to have open discussions with their children about the dangers of sexting. While many young people wrongly believe their actions may result in gaining the affections of the receiving party, the risk of felony charges and lifelong regret is high. When legal consequences are on the line, an attorney can be of great assistance.
Source: ktiv.com, “What kids and parents need to know about ‘sexting'”, Ashly Richardson, Feb. 13, 2018