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Teen Sentenced to Prison for Sexting

two girls sexting 300x236 Teen Sentenced to Prison for SextingAn 18-year-old Vermont teen (Isaac Owusu) pleaded guilty on Thursday to the first “sexting” case in the State’s history. The case stemmed from his allegedly directing two teenage girls to videotape themselves and send him the resulting images. Although he pleaded guilty, Owusu contended that the grils were willing participants in the incident. Owusu was sentenced to up to two years in prison but will serve 90 days from a plea agreement.

Interestingly enough, the state legislature recently passed a law decriminalizing sexting. Under the new law, minors charged with a first offense of “sexting” will not be prosecuted as adults, but will instead be declared delinquent as a juvenile and sent to a diversion program. This also keeps them from being listed as a sex offender and have the charge follow them the rest of their life.

This recent ruling should be a wake up call for parents and it now falls on your shoulders to sit down with you children, both boys and girls and explain the life long consequences this sort of charge could have. The difficultly lies in the fact that most consider harmless, but now those innocent flirtations, nude pictures and explicit messages you send could become grounds for a criminal record and prison time.

For teens, the consequences of sexting are the same for adults in most states, but could also prevent students from receiving college scholarships, job offers, in addition to the embarrassment of having your nude photographs floating around the Internet.

In the United States, it is against the law to possess lewd photographs of minors. A New York lawyer is petitioning for federal sexting legislation that would make sexting a misdemeanor for minors.

Here is a link that outlines the sexting laws for each state: http://im.about.com/od/sexting/United_States_Sexting_Laws.htm

Of course if you son or daughter has an iPhone on AT&T then Multimedia Messaging (MMS) has never worked and you can breath a sigh of relief until September 25th when it is “supposedly” being activated. (Read Full Story)  Those of us with children who have a BlackBerry are not so lucky, since the BlackBerry has had full MMS capability for a number of years now.

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About the Author

Daniel Black is the President and CEO of MobiMadness, Inc. Over the last 4 decades Dan has been an IT Director, Project Manager, Firefighter, EMT, and Army Staff Sergeant (retired).

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