• Getting even by sexting backfires on teen couple

    Date: 04.18.11 | by Judge Tom.

    Breaking up with each other is hard enough regardless of your age. But with the sexting craze and short-term relationships of many high school and college students, the break-up can lead to unexpected attention.

    Two students at Hempfield Area High School in Pennsylvania broke up in March, 2011. Each had sent the other some “pornographic” cell phone videos as described by the police. Angry at each other, they sent the videos to their respective friends.

    The ninth and tenth grade students involved had their cell phones taken by the police. Comments from law enforcement referred to a pornographic video but refused to identify the male and female involved or any specifics regarding the behavior of the teens. They face possible felony charges and suspension or expulsion from school.

    Photo by Rohan Kar

    Sexting is a practice that can change your life forever. Recent statistics show that 13% of youth between the ages of 11 and 18 have received a sext message, while 8% report that they’ve sent a sext.* The numbers are increasing as well as the number of reports to law enforcement. Consequences may include suspension, expulsion and/or criminal charges. Think before you send a questionable photo of yourself or someone else.

    Check out another recent story about an explicit photo posted online in 2003 that surfaced years later and resulted in the imprisonment of a young adult. 

    *Cyberbullying Research Center

    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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    3 Comments subscribe to these comments.

    • taylor
      Wed, 27 Apr 2011 at 09:51

      I think it is okay to do this just as long as u dont do it a lot. and your careful when you do it!!
      Thanks for your comment, Taylor. Where do you draw the line if you think it’s okay to get back at someone by circulating photos that were meant to be private? Is it okay to send it out to 5 people, 10, 100? The sender should keep in mind that everyone has a right to privacy and when that trust is broken, it can backfire in unexpected ways.

    • Alyssa
      Sat, 30 Apr 2011 at 07:47

      If you have a picture of a sexual nature of someone under 18 on your phone, regardless of your age, you can face sex offender charges (where I live, anyway). You will be marked as a sex offender for the rest of your life. I don’t think it’s worth it.
      Thanks for your comment, Alyssa. Here is an example of an 18 year old who was charged and convicted of sending child pornography. He has to register as a sex offender for 25 years until he’s 43 years old.

    • Oklahoma City Divorce Attorney Matt Ingham
      Tue, 05 Jul 2011 at 02:42

      Young people lack the experience in the real world to be able to appreciate the full effect of consequences. Sexting is a perfect example of where young people behave rashly and immaturely, in the process they can permanently maim their future.
      Well put. Unfortunately, sexting is not limited to youth – too many adults are getting caught up in the act due to thinking based on emotion & passion rather than morals and sound judgment.

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