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Teens Busted for "Sexting"

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This disturbing trend continues to gain popularity.

teen girls texting on cell phones

Three teenage girls who allegedly sent nude or semi-nude cell phone pictures of themselves, and three male classmates in a western Pennsylvania high school who received them, are charged with child pornography.

Police in Greensburg, about 30 miles east of Pittsburgh, say the girls are 14 or 15 and the boys charged with receiving the photos are 16 or 17. None are being identified because most criminal cases in Pennsylvania juvenile courts are not public, reports the Associated Press.

Police say Greensburg Salem High School officials learned of the photos in November when a student was seen using a cell phone during school hours, which violates school rules.

The phone was seized and the photos were found on it. When police investigated, other phones with more pictures were seized.

This case is more evidence of a growing teen trend. Cases have been reported in Colorado, New Jersey, New York, Alabama, Utah, Pennsylvania, Texas, Washington, Ohio, and Connecticut, and the practice appears to be gaining popularity.

Last month, we told you about the cheerleaders who got booted off the squad in Washington after sending racy pics to other students. Two of the girls' parents are suing the school district over it.

In October, we told you about an Ohio girl who faced felony charged and may have to register as a sex offender after taking nude photos and sending them to classmates.

The perception among teens is that sending nude photos is cute or funny, according to attorney Ronald Dunn. But he says sharing such photos meets the federal definition of child pornography ... and breaks the law. But even if your teen doesn't get charged with a felony, the photos can end up being forwarded to everyone in school, causing devastation and ongoing humiliation.

Teens have told prosecutors the photo trading is fueled by students vying for attention from the opposite sex. A girl likes a guy, so she sends a nude picture of herself to him -- or vice versa.

"Parents ought to handle this by keeping track of their kids or taking away their cell phones," prosecutor Craig Halls says. Another attorney encourages parents to consider whether their children need to have cameras with their cell phones -- or whether the teens need phones at all.



Do you check your teen's cell phone pictures? If not, will you now?


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46 comments so far | Post a comment now
Anonymous January 14, 2009, 4:14 PM

My daughter is only a couple months old, but I decided a long time ago that she’ll get a cell phone when SHE can pay for it and if it’s a picture phone, she will lose it very quickly if I catch wind of this type of behavior (this includes any other children we may have). To this day I won’t take these types of pictures, even for my husband, who has a legimate interest in having some considering his potential for deployment. My take, people can do as they please, but I can’t say I agree with it. I do have to say…our picture phones have come in handy though. They are how we sent the first pictures of our daughter to family members who couldn’t come, and if one of us goes out, we can take a picture of something and send it to get the others take on it.

Probitas January 15, 2009, 6:42 AM

Technology, media, lack of time given to young people by parents and family - it’s all just leading to disturbing behaviors and outcomes. I picked up a resource called, The Undergound Guide to Teenage Sexuality, that has helped me navigate all of this with my daughter and younger son, but most importantly, it’s helped us to have daily discussions on ANYTHING. So while I still worry about what they may be lured into, at least I have some confidence that they feel they can tell me what/when something happens.

ashley January 16, 2009, 7:44 AM

Hmmm, maybe parents should stop buying their kids camera phones. Ya think?? Yeah, I know their cool and handy at times and the kids beg for them. But it’s soooo not worth it.

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Jedidiah July 1, 2009, 8:40 PM

Sorry. If a free society cannot help the many who are poor, it cannot save the few who are rich.
I am from Malaysia and also now teach English, give true I wrote the following sentence: “Before it through, a female flea can lay hundreds of eggs on.”

Best regards :P, Jedidiah.

Clara September 4, 2009, 3:34 PM

Hi. I am not sincere, even when I say I am not.
I am from Vatican and learning to read in English, tell me right I wrote the following sentence: “list of online share trading.”

Thank ;) Clara.

Kaiser September 8, 2009, 11:51 AM

Hey. There are admirable potentialities in every human being. Believe in your strength and your youth. Learn to repeat endlessly to yourself, ‘It all depends on me.’
I am from Indonesia and also now teach English, give true I wrote the following sentence: “Nezlek, john, wheeler, ladd.”

Thank you so much for your future answers :-D. Kaiser.

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