WGAL.com: PERRY COUNTY, Pa. -- State police have charged eight Perry County teens with possession of child pornography.
The teens were "sexting" -- recording sex acts on their cell phones and sending them to others, state police said.
What are the legal consequences for juveniles who get caught sexting and how are authorities handling the cases?
Administrators at Susquenita High School in Duncannon recently caught three students with cell phones containing a video and pictures of other area juveniles performing sex acts on each other.
Troopers charged five more juveniles with possessing and transmitting child pornography after finding out the teens allegedly sent the materials to others as text messages.
If found guilty, would these teens have to register as sex offenders?
Legal experts said no because all involved are juveniles. However, sexting is creating a new legal frontier for attorneys.
"This is a new wrinkle in the law given technology that has developed," said attorney Ari Weitzman.
State and federal law does not specifically address the role of cell phones in child pornography cases. There is no cut-and-dry guideline on how to charge juveniles in the growing number of sexting cases.
"Prior to having the ability to takes pictures on a camera phone, you probably wouldn't have as many charges as what we have now," said Weitzman. "Unfortunately, at this point our legislature is not keeping up with the technology."
But that could change soon. Pennsylvania is in the process of becoming compliant with a new federal law that allows juveniles found guilty of child pornography to be labeled sex offenders.
That new law could be applied retroactively, meaning it could be applied to cases already tried.
The Susquenita superintendent told News 8 that in light of the case, the district plans on holding an assembly for students about the dangers and consequences of sexting.
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