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“Sexting” Balancing the Law, Teens and Technology.

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Presentation on theme: "“Sexting” Balancing the Law, Teens and Technology."— Presentation transcript:

1 “Sexting” Balancing the Law, Teens and Technology

2 Contact Information Chris Lobanov-Rostovsky, SOMB Scott Hefty, City of Lakewood

3 So What is “Sexting” Anyways? “Sexting” is the sending of nude or sexually suggestive pictures by electronic means (i.e. cell phone or other electronic devices) to another person.

4 Sending sexual images of minors (under the age of 18), even of yourself, is against the law. Teens who exchange sexually explicit photos of themselves via cell phone or other electronic device can be and have been charged and adjudicated for Sexual Exploitation of a Child, which requires registration as a sexual offender in Colorado.

5 The original intent of the Sexual Exploitation of a Child law, which fits the facts of most of these “sexting” cases, was written to charge adult sexual offenders with the exploitation of a child victim.

6 But in the brave new world of camera/video cell phones and other amazing technology, some teenagers have started “sexting” and while most teens know that “sexting” can have serious negative social and legal consequences, most do not think it is a big deal. But it is!

7 So what's the big deal? How fast can a picture or text get passed around (going viral) anyways?

8 How fast/far it travels 6 friends 36 friends of friends

9 1,296 Friends of Friends of Friends of Friends

10 7,776 Friends of Friends of Friends of Friends of Friends

11 Eeeww

12 16 year old girl Production of Child Pornography (F3) Distribution of Child Pornography (F3) Possession of Child Pornography (F6) Possession (F6) Distribution Legal Consequences

13 Phillip Alpert 18 Y/O Senior @ Ocoee HS, FLA

14 Has a Nude Photo of his Girlfriend of 2+ years

15 Has an argument with his girlfriend late one night And sends nude photo out of anger to her friends

16 Consequences Arrested and charged

17 The Outcome Phillip is now a Registered Sex Offender and his registration information is posted on the internet.


19 Some of the Consequences for a Sex Offense Adjudication What does it mean to be a Registered Sex Offender? The Juvenile shall submit to any program for psychological or physiological assessment No contact with children three or more years younger than themselves No internet or cell phone use Mandatory disclosure to any potential dating partner / Mandatory disclosure to your employer Genetic Marker Testing In Colorado there are over 37 special Terms and Conditions for registered juvenile sex offenders Registration as a sex offender for a minimum of 2 years to life

20 Social Consequences

21 Real Life Stories Jessica Logan A Senior @ Sycamore HS

22 Nude Photos Boyfriend of 2 months

23 They Breakup He sends the photo’s of Jessica to get back at her

24 The Consequences Vicious, unrelenting taunts

25 The Outcome Suicide

26 So should you keep it or delete it?

27 How can possibly I say no to my boyfriend?

28 Here are some ways! I already said no Hold on, let me ask my mom I’m worried they’ll get passed around school I’m camera shy Sorry, my webcam is broken


30 Differences Between Sexting and Voyeurism Voyeurism involves viewing or taking a picture of another unknowingly Sexting involves an individual taking their own picture and sending it to another person or posting to a website Voyeurism dynamics are more consistent with other forms of sexual offending, while the sender of the sexting may not have these characteristics

31 Sexting Dynamics to be assessed for the producer (picture taker) Motivation for taking the picture and sending it (e.g. relationship factors) Level of pressure applied to the picture taker to take and send picture Age, and power differences between the parties involved Issues of need for peer acceptance and self-esteem Response to the distribution of the picture (e.g. suicide threats, self-harm, depression, social isolation, etc.)

32 Sexting Dynamics to be assessed for the distributer History of prior sexual offenses, whether charged or uncharged Use of force, threats, coercion, or illicit substances to obtain the photos History of prior non-sexual offense history Age, and power differences between the parties involved Emotional motivation for distribution (e.g. anger)

33 Sexting Dynamics to be assessed for the end receiver of the picture What did the receiver do with the picture? (e.g. keep it, show it, send it) History of prior sexual offenses, whether charged or uncharged History of prior non-sexual offense history Disclosure of picture (e.g. authority, peers, parents, etc.)

34 OMG, teens R “sexting”

35 Resources for Parents

36 School Safety Resource Center

37 NetSmartz -

38 Additional Resources for Parents

39 Additional Resources for Parents


41 Safe2Tell - Additional Resources


43 Victim Resources Each jurisdiction has community-based victim service providers, which may be accessed through COVA or CCASA


45 Impact of and Resources for Bullying Social consequences (e.g. future employment, school attendance, ostracization) Research on cyber-bullying has found that students involved are more likely to: Be unwilling to attend school Receive poor grades Have lower self-esteem Have more health problems


47 Alternatives to Retaliation/Distributing the Picture Think of the consequences; Talk to someone in authority or a trusted peer; Take a time out; Express your feelings appropriately Consider how you would feel if it was a picture of you. Think before you Act Identify possible solutions Stick with 'I' statements

48 What to do if you are aware of sexting? Talk to a parent or authority figure Don’t encourage or support peer pressure, or the behavior Recognize the negative impact of sexting on the picture taker, and encourage her/him to obtain support and help Add others

49 What would you do if you were aware a friend was sexting?

50 Talk to a parent or authority figure: NEVER forward a sexually explicit picture!

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