However, as the ACLU has explained in a letter to prosecutors in Washington, prosecutors can and should exercise their discretion to avoid treating teen sexting incidents the same as adult exploitation of children.
_____Updated June 2017 Sexting is a new twist on the timeless desire of teens and adults to engage in sexual expression.
One may have any number of personal objections to sexting, but as long as sexted images are taken voluntarily and shared consensually, it is none of the government’s business.
A couple should be able to intimately share naked pictures of each other if they so choose.
The frightening reality, however, is that our current child pornography laws coupled with modern technology have the potential to create a sex offender registry populated with the children it was intended to protect and a generation of teenagers who will reach the age of majority already convicted as child sex offenders.
This is not what child pornography laws were meant for, and the time has come to address the issue rationally and reasonably, before it is too late.
Unfortunately, this means that, unless the Legislature amends the statute, any minor involved in sexting continues to be at risk of felony charges.
Sexting among adults is unquestionably protected expression under the First Amendment.
For minors, unfortunately, sexting is an entirely different matter.
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