Teen faces jail, lifetime on sex offenders list for sexting
A teenager in Virginia faces four months in jail and a lifetime on a sex offender’s list for texting videos of his erect penis to his girlfriend, his lawyer said Friday.
The 17-year-old from the Washington suburb of Manassas is accused by police of “manufacturing and distributing child pornography” – even if it’s selfie porn.
“It’s an outrageous case,” his lawyer Jessica Foster told AFP, adding that he could potentially wind up in jail until he turns 21 and indefinite registration as a sex offender.
Told to stop
The youth – due to appear August 1 in youth court – had “repeatedly” been told to stop sending “pornographic videos” to the 15-year-old girl, said Manassas City Police in a statement.
The “sexting” case took a surreal twist when police obtained a warrant to photograph the boy’s penis to prove that it was the same one that appeared in the text videos.
On Thursday, as publicity about the case grew in the Washington area, they said they would not serve the warrant, which would have involved a drug-induced erection at a local hospital.
Under Virginia law, anyone in possession of obscene photos of a juvenile is technically in possession of child pornography, even if it is a picture of themselves, Foster said.
“It’s a very far-reaching law,” she said.
In an editorial this week, the Washington Post newspaper, citing an academic study, said the youth’s behavior “puts him in the company of nearly 30 percent of his peers.”