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Teen Arrested for Sending Nude Pictures on Myspace

By October 28, 2009

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Update: The charges will hopefully be dropped against the teen girl if she follows through with the consequences. According to this article, the Passaic County Prosecutor's Office says the girl must undergo at least six months of counseling and probation and must stay out of trouble. If she does, all charges will be dropped.

It doesn't seem to unreasonable to me, what do you think?

The original story: The AP is reporting that a 14-year-old New Jersey girl has been arrested for child pornography after posting nearly 30 explicit nude pictures of herself on MySpace.com. These charges that could force her to register as a sex offender if convicted, which is ridiculous in my humble opinion.

The audacity of these charges is echoed by the mother of the girl whose name is on the sex registration law, Meagan's law. Maureen Kanka said in this online article, "This shouldn't fall under Megan's Law in any way, shape or form. The teen should have counseling and intervention because the only person she exploited was herself. Megan's Law is for sex offenders. These kids aren't sex offenders."

It's time the laws started moving at the same internet speed that our teens are moving - the same speed they expect parents to figure out and move. Our courts don't stand behind COPPA, but we can charge a 14-year-old girl with child pornography distribution when she sends a picture of herself to her boyfriend via an internet social website. Unreasonable, ludicrous, absurd - just can't seem to find the right word to cover it.

Thoughts? Share them in the comments area.

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Comments
March 30, 2009 at 11:20 am
(1) Ray says:

While it may seem a stiff penalty, it is fair. Mainly because say for instance a 14 year old boy saw these pictures and posted them somewhere else. I am sure the girls parents would want charges filed on him. When all he did was repost the pictures the girl herself had posted. Besides she broke the rules of Myspace and a federal law or two. Just my opinion.

March 30, 2009 at 12:33 pm
(2) Lisa Quinn says:

I really feel that this is not a legal matter. Parents should want to know WHY a child feels the need to expose herself over the internet for anyone to see. Children today are not aware of the consequences of the World Wide Web. As soon as content is submitted, it’s free to roam anywhere, on any site, at any time.

As for the social network, I believe there should be stricter monitoring. Actual sex offenders are leaking onto these sites, along with profane and obscene pictures, blogs, and videos. It’s time to encourage a more positive social experience.

March 30, 2009 at 1:29 pm
(3) RENEE ALLEN says:

i think she did avery bad thing she needs jail time then she needs to not do it agin

March 30, 2009 at 4:20 pm
(4) CSH says:

I spend a fair amount of time on my space.

When a girl see’s a girl or woman on my space have 100,000 friends and getting all sorts of attention from men and women,guess what she is gonna do to get attention.She or he will usually try and emulate what is bringing this person all the attention.It is a proven fact that a woman who is pretty will get 10 times more request than a band or just a normal looking girl on mspace.We tested this theory.One of my women friends started a profile(she is VERY pretty)took some pics in normal short pants,maybe a bikini shot(which was..provocative).She had over 1000 women and men request her in one week.This does not happen even to musicians who have a loyal following.Not in a week!!
So,That is the thing.Its the same in the real world except people get to do things they NEVER would in person.NEVER.

No,I don’t think she should go to jail or ruin her life..Gee!!I do think both should be in trouble.The girl and the boy.
Now,what would have happened if I had got one of those pics and didn’t know she was underage and I sent it to someone?Yea,that is what I mean.I am a grown man.

March 30, 2009 at 5:09 pm
(5) Laureen says:

If her photos were published on the Internet, she created pornography that will used by pedophiles. She’s feeding that market. That wasn’t her intention and maybe she deserves some leniency. But actions have consequences. If she learned her lesson and doesn’t do anything so stupid again, maybe she can get it taken off her record when she turns 18.

March 31, 2009 at 12:04 am
(6) Concerned Parent says:

If, we as as a society, condone this behaviour it will only be matter before teenager start taking naked photos of their younger friends or even younger siblings. In fact a 19 year old girl called Rebecca Irene Junkins has been jailed recently for emailing naked photos of two young girls to a man she met over the Internet.

http://blog.al.com/live/2009/03/federal_judge_orders_prison_me.html#preview

We, as a society, must draw the line somewhere and this I feel is where the line should be drawn before we see younger children being sexually exploited by these irresponsible teenagers.

March 31, 2009 at 10:57 am
(7) toni says:

What is wrong with this society? Discipline the parents! Children who grow up with the absence of a good moral role model and proper attention from their parents, usually seek it out somewhere else and usually go to extremes to get it. If they charge this CHILD as a sex offender. It will RUIN her life. Has anyone taken a look at what sex offenders have to do for the REST OF THEIR LIFE. Make sure it is the appropriate punishment first. They can never go to their own children’s games or functions or church. EVER!!! They can’t walk through the mall or go to the park. That’s a really harsh punishment. I just ask please don’t judge the book by its cover. She made a horrible mistake, that’s it.

March 31, 2009 at 11:54 am
(8) Trisha says:

These kids are sex offenders and the lesson needs to get out that this is not acceptable behavior of children. The punishments should be harsh and the fact that one “mistake” can ruin their lives should be in the back of their minds. If we allow this to go on with no sever consequences the activity will become worse very quickly. When the attention of pictures wears off they will move on to the next level until eventually they are “film stars”. Wake up people! It is illegal to show, possese, or take nude pictures of children, it doesn’t matter that she is a child, it is against the law. Let us say a grown man gets sent one of these pictures, and doesn’t realize how young she is, he saves it and sends it on to his buddy, and if they are caught with it they get prison time and are sex offenders all because she wanted some attention for her body.

March 31, 2009 at 11:27 pm
(9) Robert says:

Ray,Reenee Allen, Laureen, and Trisha you are blood thirsty thugs. When children are being charged as pedophiles, something is wrong with this country, and you people are also part of whats wrong with this country.

I only hope in the future when the next generation of politicians runs this country with younger people, that they remove all these horrid nanny states laws.

April 1, 2009 at 2:48 pm
(10) Jody says:

Oh, Come On! These kids are NOT pedophiles. MYSPACE, Facebook, and other social networks offer them the chance to do the uninhibited. These kids don’t realize the ripple effect and consequences that go with it.

When I realized my 14 year old step daughter was using Facebook, I monitored what she was doing. When I realized that a lot of her friends were mid-eastern (my husband was in Iraq with the military at the time) and guys from many states away, I told her to get off the social network. She refused. I went to Facebook and requested her account be cancelled. They refused since she was over 13 when she set up the account.

I realized that she didn’t see the potential for trouble and had things posted that gave her name, age and small-town. I, as parent/guardian, should have had the right to pull the account, but, because of COPPA, I was not allowed to.

So far the comments have been against the teen, and against the mother. How about being against a social network that allows a parent no authority, which will allow something like this to get past. If the social network wants to allow young teens free reign while taking away parental rights, then they should step up to the plate and take the punishment. 13 is too young to be given free reign of a website, as is 14 or 15, and most times 16. These kids don’t realize what they may be doing. And at that age, with hormones running high, they wouldn’t want to think about it anyway.

These kids aren’t criminals and should not have this on their record. It should be dealt with in the home, and counseling, and COPPA needs changed!

April 1, 2009 at 3:37 pm
(11) Richard 3rd says:

A mon avis, teenagers need to grasp reality now as they’re approaching adulthood. They need to understand that their parents aren’t their enemies but their close friends, their mentors, their counselors, and the ones they ought to look up to. Arresting that teenage girl is kind of harsh.

Anyway, if it didn’t happen some days ago, it will have happened today or tomorrow. Teenagers need to open their eyes, and I also believe that parents should continue to help them see clearer, as never before. It’s an SOS!

April 1, 2009 at 3:51 pm
(12) Richard 3rd says:

One more thing, having that “14-year-old New Jersey girl” to face charges that could lead her to register as a “SEX OFFENDER” is really an outrage. She’s just a “juvenille” for goodness sake. People who need that title attached to their names don’t always get it, but it’s a little girl that gets the shame. They’ve gone too far with this case. They need to be more lenient toward juvenilles…

July 4, 2009 at 8:25 am
(13) The Dude says:

These idiot prosecutor’s should be thrown out of office faster than you can sen a picture. These are kid’s sending pictures to other kid’s, how and why would they be charged with anything? They are both teenagers under eighteen. So how is it child porn if they send nude pic’s to each other, it may be stupid but the crime is an idiot prosecutor trying to get his name in the news and destroying these young peoples lives for doing something thousands just like them are doing. These children, and that is what they are, are using very bad judgement, but since when is that a crime worth being listed, as some totally idiotic city prosecutors are doing, as a sexual predator. How is that even damned possible when both parties involved are under the age of eighteen. These prosecutions are worse that the “sexting” fad, and that is all these prosecutions are, a fad by overzealous moron’s trying to make a name for themselves. Why isn’t the adult prosecutor or the adult that found and viewed the picture charged as what they are, pedophiles.

September 19, 2009 at 10:22 pm
(14) Kevin says:

Anyone who thinks this is a crime in any way is a moron and I feel sorry for you because you are so wrapped up in your own paranoia/prudishness/religious fanaticism you have lost all perspective. There is no victim here. How is the boy guilty of anything simply by being sent a photo? The girl is guilty of poor judgment and needs a reality check, but being stupid is not a crime. It is insulting to the victims of actual abuse to call her a sexual predator. The scary part is that some district attorneys, who are supposedly intelligent, actually file charges at all. Nudity is not the same as pornography, anyway. Would you feel the same, Trisha, if your child/niece/nephew used the same poor judgment? This is not a difference of opinion, you are wrong.

October 4, 2009 at 7:19 pm
(15) Ken says:

This is a perversion of a good law used to to catch pedophiles. Children at 14 don’t usually understand the consequences of these type of actions. Think of yourself at 14, can you honestly say you never did anything stupid. The prosecutor is using children to climb the political ladder showing he is tough on sex offenders so he can get reelected.

Now what happens to the child? She is taken from a loving home ( I think) and sent to a Juvenal detention Center. No parents, no friends, isolated from everyone and everything she knows and jailed with others who may have committed much worse crimes (these will become her new friends). If she is released at 18 she will have to register as a sex offender wherever she goes to live. Will she be able to get into any colleges with that on her record? Will she be able to get a job with that on her record? Careers as a school teacher or a day care worker will be denied to her, indeed any job that involves children are no longer an option (summer camp, school bus driver, etc.). If she marries and has her own kids, will other parents allow their children to play with them after she registers as a sex offender in town?

How about her parents? Where are they getting the money for a lawyer? Do they have to start using money put aside for retirement, college education, take a second mortgage on their house? How much of a strain does this put on their marriage? How about loss time at work to consult with lawyers and go to court.

How about our own society? TV shows that glorify sex on TV nightly, advertisements that use scantily clad women to sell products, companies like Abercrombie and Fitch that have nudity in their catalogs. Fashion clothes for school children that are inappropriate but encourages them to be ‘hot’. Tweens and young teens wearing tiny bikinis on the beach. Young girls always being bombarded with messages to be sexy. Political leaders in the news in sex scandals (Clinton, Spitzer, Edwards, etc.) Music and movies stars in people magazine and US magazine with their sex lives. Music and Movies rated PG with sexual innuendos and sex language.

Even in school health classes teach about condoms to protect yourself from diseases and unwanted pregnancies. “Don’t have sex, but if you do, be protected.” This is a realization that even if you don’t want children to have sex, many will anyway. This is a government mandate that underscores that many kids will have sex regardless of laws that prohibit it. (which I guess is okay, just don’t take pictures)

And will other girls look at this case and say I shouldn’t do this. Of course not. They will probably never even hear about this case. And even if they do, ‘ it can’t happen to me.’

How will you feel if this girl commits suicide? Thinking that her life is over at 14 and that she now has nothing to live for, destroyed over a pictures she took of herself by a zealous DA.

Compassionate is called for here. Counseling is the best course. And education is school bring this to students attention.

We are a nation of laws and need laws to help govern society, but laws should be tempered with truth, justice, and how they serve society. Is society served by destroying this girls life and her family? Is the destruction of this girls life Justice?

I think not.

October 29, 2009 at 8:39 am
(16) Trisha says:

Those who are stating that this is just a child’s poor judgement or a case of kid’s being kid’s are part of what is wrong with the big picture. Being accepting of this behaviour is why it continues and gets worse. Kevin, since I teach my children, self-respect, modesty, and to look ahead at consequences of their actions, yes I would feel rightfully ashamed and disappointed in this if it was them. I would expect them to follow through with the punishment given and expect the harshest punishment to be doled out. I love my kids and would hate to see them “ruined” for the rest of their lives, but we are firm here and that is the way it should be. When we see teens making stupid decisions like this girl, we do bring it up to our kids and talk about her behaviour and why it was wrong, how she broke laws and what could happen to her. I am not religious prudish, or fearful of anything, I just believe, that kids should be taught at an early age to respect the laws, themselves, and the consequenses for poor judgement.

October 30, 2009 at 2:27 am
(17) David Pepperdine says:

I agree that the social networks need to be held accountable.

Parents should be able to regulate their children’s behavior until the child is 18 years old. Period.

November 4, 2009 at 10:20 pm
(18) Heather says:

c’mon people how can she be a pedophile if she is putting up pics of herself. She is 14 and stupid but to register as a sex offender that is absurd. Everyone on here that says she needs to go to jail blah blah blah it’s all good till it’s your kid that screws up I bet you wouldn’t feel the same way then.

Yes Concerned parent the 19 yr old girl is in jail for sending phots of younger girls…she is 19 an adult sending photos of minors.

If for God forbid my 14 yr old and yes I have one was sent a photo by her boyfriend which she doesn’t have of him naked I wouldn’t call the police I would call his parents and then call the phone company and have texting and picture mail blocked on her phone.

November 11, 2009 at 2:08 pm
(19) shalyn says:

although it may seem like teens are misbehaving when it comes to cell phones and pictures. Also you have to understand my point of view. Many people see children as disrespectful or “little devils” but you have to understand that, teenagers will be teenagers and they will be acting up for a crowd or to make someone notice them. This article shows just my point of view. Teenagers are doing stupid things only for the purpose of being idiotic. You should keep your kids on a leash and dont let them out of your sight, only if it comes to that. I am a writer and also a counseler that specializes in this matter. If you have a child that needs to be watched then you must do what you feel nessecery. I am signing out and i will talk to you later!!!!

November 24, 2009 at 5:41 pm
(20) Beth McKenna says:

Although I do not agree that this young girl should have to register as a sex offender, I do however feel she should be punished. I am sick of these kids minimizing the importance of respecting their bodies and the sanctity of sex. It seems that teenagers and the younger generation(s) as a whole are so desensitized to violence, sex, and anything that has a negative stigma attached to it. I am only 31 & the way that I grew up & what I was exposed to is leaps and bounds from what kids these days absorb on a daily basis.
Parents STILL need to discipline their kids from the day they come out of the womb until they move out on their own! Sensor what they watch on t.v., play on video games, computer, music, and movies…if you aren’t going to guide them properly, then I’ll give you ONE guess who will…
Of course as parents we can’t be there 100% and kids will still disobey at times, but if you instill what is expected out of them consistently and reinforce with discipline..they will make less mistakes.
I have a 15 year old…and my parents were very strict and sheltered myself & my sisters..but they never really ‘talked’ to me about why they did and said the things they did and said..sex was NEVER talked about..along with drugs.
I know how tough it is to be a parent..even more so b/c I was so young..that’s why I make it my mission to be the best PARENT, and NOT FRIEND to my son.
Anyway…to solve some issues involving pictures with minors/nudity..and ‘sexting’ that is oh so popular these days…how about no cell phones with the ability to send/recieve pic’s, no Myspace accounts, and things like that. I mean come on, they see their friends everyday at school, they can just use a home phone or a cell with just call/text features.
Why does a 14 year old need a myspace account anyway? It is a highly sexual website, and perverts that want to entice young girls are VERY prevelant!
My computer is out in the familyroom and my son has to have permission to get on…he is not allowed to have one in his room; he does have a cell, but only can text & call…and I check his phone every once and a while just to make sure there isn’t anything crazy going on..
He has never been in trouble beyond being grounded a couple times in his life..has a 4.289 GPA at a private school, and doesn’t give me problems (besides being a typical teenager from time to time).
Spare the rod, spoil the child!

December 26, 2009 at 1:57 am
(21) Sylvia James says:

I don’t that this case is as serious as sex offenders, but I would say that teens are not thought how to love,respect and value themselves. They have too much time on their hands. Teens are self-centered and need to think of someone else for a change. They can be very creative and need an outlet to challenge all that energy. For this teen she is getting a second chance if she follow through with counseling and stay out of trouble. This should be a lesson for teens the next time they think of sending nude photo through the internet.

January 1, 2010 at 1:47 am
(22) Mike Rysanek says:

Another stupid example of following the letter of the law as opposed to the spirit. This is why there are lawyers, and this is why we all hate them.

January 8, 2010 at 4:08 am
(23) Geile-Girls says:

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Privat Sexcams

January 29, 2010 at 12:45 am
(24) L says:

I am 14 years old. I don’t care what everyone thinks, I do not believe that just by being older, anyone is a superior to me.

A long time ago, people of around 14 years old were considered adults. You’re being judged by your age, not by your character.

Discrimination still exists, and many people are blind to it. Arresting the girl for that is an act of hypocrisy.

I totally agree with Mike Rysanek on this.

March 28, 2011 at 11:23 pm
(25) Tom says:

I agree with you im 15 and by the way (im just throwing this out there) what is so bad about seeing a bit of skin? nude is not the same as pornografic for the love of god people like this lawyer and all these bloodthirsty fools on here are why we will destory ourselves humanity needs to wake up and stop being so blantly ignorant i hate to say it but if this pace keeps up id be more than happy to move to russia

March 11, 2010 at 2:22 pm
(26) Kevin says:

I realize the need for KIDS to be aware of the consequences of their actions, Trisha, but my argument was as much legal as moral. Using child porn laws intended to protect minors to prosecute minors makes no legal or moral sense. It is absurd that minors can legally have sex but if that same minor sends a simple nude picture to her boyfriend she had committed a crime. You cannot be the victim and the perpetrator at the same time. I masturbated when I was 14, so does that mean I committed child molestation? No parent would support the idea of their teen daughter being prosecuted or registering as a sex offender simply for letting someone see her naked. Americans’ prudishness and irrational fear of nudity is the cause of this stupidity since many people wrongly see all nudity as dirty and immoral,therefore illegal, especially nude teens. This is a parental issue, not a crime.

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July 13, 2012 at 1:14 pm
(28) Liza says:

At some point someone has to step in and put a stop to this disgusting new trend of child pornogphy that men have a thing with as well as being turned on by a young girl or boy. How are we suppose to get a grip on this new trend if we dont stop it at both ends. Jail well why not? The guy or girl recieving it that is an adult goes to jail and has to register as a sex offender. Now like most records of people under 18 they are sponged when they turn 18 – the sex offender registerary should do the same. Kids are not being informed of what is going on out in the world and shame on the parents for not teaching them right and wrong. I truly believe that families should watch and read the news together and discuss the events letting their kids form their own opinions and thoughts but guiding them down the right path.
America is really going down the shit hole more and more each year. Before it is to late we need to get our shit together or we are going to be like a third world country asking for food, money, healthcare, etc..
Suicides are already on the rise ..people are more and more living on the street, etc..you all get that part.

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