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    A shocking possibility from sexting

    Date: 07.29.14 | by Judge Tom.

    As you know, prosecutors need evidence to go forward with charges against someone. The evidence may be direct eyewitness testimony or circumstantial evidence. Sometimes law enforcement takes samples of hair, urine or blood to test or to do DNA analysis. Photographs are also used for identifying suspects. If there is something distinctive about a tattoo or its location, for example, it may become important in a criminal case.


    Photo by Pro Juventute (Flickr)

    An unnamed 17-year-old in Manassas, Virginia, probably didn’t consider any of this when he texted an explicit video to his 15-year-old girlfriend. A juvenile court judge issued a warrant in July, 2014, authorizing the police to take photos of his erect penis to be used at trial (evidence of sexting). Arrangements would be made for an injection at a local hospital to obtain the needed evidence.

    After the warrant became public, cooler heads prevailed and the police decided not to pursue this avenue. The boy is charged with felony possession and manufacturing child pornography.

    Just one more reason not to engage in sexting. The consequences may be forever.

    Judge Tom

    This post was written by Judge Tom. Judge Tom is the founder and moderator of AsktheJudge.info. He is a retired juvenile judge and spent 23 years on the bench. He has written several books for lawyers and judges as well as teens and parents including the recently published 'Teen Cyberbullying Investigated' (Free Spirit Publishing). When he's not answering teens' questions, Judge Tom can be found hiking, traveling and reading.

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    1 Comment subscribe to these comments.

    • Julie
      Sun, 02 Nov 2014 at 02:26

      Students need to realize that they can be charged with child pornography. I know of a few cases where girls have been arrested for distribution after sending pictures of themselves to boyfriends or potential boyfriends.
      You’re absolutely right, Julie. Teens must understand that criminal laws apply to them and they can be charged with serious offenses. Think before posting anything questionable. Thanks for writing us. -ATJ.info