Indiana readers are likely well aware of the popular practice of "sexting"
that has become mainstream among teenagers and young adults. Sexting occurs
when sexually explicit material or language is sent between individuals
via text or video message. Unfortunately, what many young people see as
harmless fun could be considered criminal
sexual offenses by the law.
Recently, an Indiana teenager has found himself in the midst of serious
legal and educational trouble after purportedly intimidating teenage girls
into sending him sexually explicit photographs of themselves. The 15-year-old
high school student allegedly bullied the girls and threatened them in
order to obtain sexually explicit pictures. He is also alleged to have
threatened to circulate the one photo that had already been sent to him
if more pictures were not provided.
In Dec. 2013, the teen was arrested and criminally charged with child pornography
and intimidation. Reports allege that the teen admitted to threatening
and coercing one teenage girl to send him a nude picture, though the details
of any such evidence are unknown. A school official has stated that the
teenager has provided written apologies to the teenage girls that he is
said to have intimidated.
In addition to the criminal charges against this teen, he is also facing
being expelled from high school as a result of the situation in which
he now finds himself. Sexual offenses are taken very seriously in Indiana,
as they should be, and the consequences of a conviction are strict. Fortunately,
this Indiana teenager has legal rights, including the right to defend
himself against the allegations and challenge the legitimacy of any evidence
presented in support of the accusations. It will be important for him,
as his case moves forward, to leave no stone unturned in attempting to
secure the best outcome possible for his future.