Chesterfield youth could face child porn charges for 'sexting' - WECT TV6-WECT.com:News, weather & sports Wilmington, NC

Chesterfield youth could face child porn charges for 'sexting'

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CHESTERFIELD, VA (WWBT) -

Chesterfield Police say two youngsters were caught sending each other naughty pictures of themselves.

Under current Virginia law, they can be charged with distributing child pornography. 

"If you take a photograph of yourself and you are under 18 and you distribute that," said NBC12 legal analyst Steve Benjamin. "You are distributing child pornography. The law makes no exception for that."

A bad decision could leave your child labeled a sex offender.

"We need to fine tune our child pornography laws," said Benjamin. "Because I don't think we intend these kinds of consequences and those kinds of labels on teenagers or juveniles who are just exploring their own curiosity."

Locals say the law seems too harsh.

"I think it's ridiculous," said Kristie Jones. "This is why I don't have kids."

Benjamin says parents should take note of this story. 

"If the juvenile is less than 15-years-old the sentence is anywhere between five and 30 years," said Benjamin. "The greater the age difference between the subject and the defendant, the greater the punishment."

The Commonwealth Attorney's office would not comment on the case. They would only say they try and enforce the spirit and intention of the law in these types of cases. 

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