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Friends taking photos with a cell phone in a car

Source: Adam Hester / Getty

Via: Arstechnica.com

A North Carolina high school student is facing five child pornography-related charges for engaging in consensual sexting with his girlfriend. Four out of the five charges he faces are for taking and possessing nude photos of himself on his own phone. Huh?  The last charge is for possessing one nude photo that his girlfriend took for him. There is no evidence of coercion or further distribution of the images anywhere beyond the two teenagers’ phones.

Similarly, the young woman was originally charged with two counts of sexual exploitation of a minor—but was listed on her warrant for arrest as both perpetrator and victim. The case illustrates a bizarre legal quandry that has resulted in state law being far behind technology and unable to distinguish between predatory child pornography and innocent (if ill-advised) behavior of teenagers

According to Arstechinca.com on July 21, 2015, the young woman took a plea deal whereby the felony charges were dropped, but she pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor charge, which will be expunged after she completes a year of probation. Over the next 11 months, she is not allowed to possess a cell phone, among other restrictions.  Neither of the Fayetteville students nor their lawyers immediately responded to Ars’ requests for comment and the two teens have to face the charges as adults.

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