June 4, 2011
The Hernando County Sheriff’s Office arrested two Brooksville, FL teens Thursday for allegedly sexting a photo of a bare breast. A 15-year-old boy and girl were both charged with transmission of pornography by electronic device.
The boy was taken into custody after he supposedly confessed to a school resource officer that he forwarded a cell phone image of a young girl’s breast to another student. He told police that another student at Hernando High School threatened to do him harm after learning of the photo’s existence.
According to the arrest affidavit, the girl admitted to taking a picture of herself in mirror wearing underwear and exposing a breast, and then sending the image to the boy. She was also arrested.
Both teens were processed at the Hernando County Jail and released into the custody of their parents.
Sexting has become a quite common practice among teenagers where they send nude or semi-nude pictures via text messages to their friends, boyfriends or girlfriends. Instead of texting, they call it “sexting.” According to the National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy, 75 percent of teens and 71 percent of young adults believe that sending sexually suggestive content could result in negative consequences. Despite the risks, 39 percent of teens and 59 percent of young adults have electronically transmitted sexually suggestive emails or text messages, and 20 percent of teens and 33 percent of young adults have texted or uploaded naked or near-naked images of themselves.
A little over a month ago, a Florida bill was passed by the Florida House and Senate that would decriminalize the act of “sexting” between minors. It was introduced by officials as a way to teach kids about the consequences of their actions, not punish them unjustly for the rest of their lives because of a simple mistake. Currently, if a minor exchanges an indecent photo and is caught, they can be convicted of a felony and be forced to register as a sex offender. The maximum penalty is five years behind bars for EACH image transmitted. The new law would make a first offense punishable by community service and a $60 fine. A second offense would be defined as a first-degree misdemeanor and the third and succeeding offenses would be classified as a felony.
If your son, daughter, niece or nephew has been arrested for “sexting” charges anywhere in the Florida area, contact the Florida Sex Crimes Defense Lawyers online or call the Brooksville office at 325-666-6666 or reach us toll-free at 1-866-608-5LAW (5529).