“Sexting” is a relatively recent addition to our everyday vocabulary. Perhaps you have heard the word in passing conversation or the news. Sexting is the act of sending sexually explicit photographs to another individual by way of an electronic device. The behavior is made accessible with the assistance of inexpensive mobile device options capable of sending and receiving photos and videos. Although teens and young adults comprise the age group most likely to acknowledge that they “sext”—an amalgamation of the words “text” and “sex”—people of all ages are participating as well. Adults looking to spice up their relationship may enjoy some benefits from sexting, but no matter the age, there is a concern over the legality of the behavior. It is possible for you to be arrested for a sex crime because of a simple sext?
Adults Are Not Exempt
While what happens in the bedroom should generally remain the behind closed doors, occasionally some bit of evidence or some story is eventually revealed to an unanticipated audience, leading to the potential embarrassment of the consenting adult. When sexting is involved, however, there could be legal ramifications for the behavior. Although in most instances, sexting between consenting adults is perfectly legal, great care is necessary to keep it legal. It is absolutely critical to:
- Avoid sending explicit messages to anyone under the age of 18;
- Avoid receiving explicit messages from anyone under the age of 18;
- Prevent child enticement; and
- Refrain from obscene or harassing behavior.
Teens Should Not Participate
The rules and regulations set in place by legislature years ago did not ever imagine the existence of sexting between teens. While laws may change down the road, as of now, many of them remain the same as they were before the proliferation of mobile technology. Many do not realize that is it illegal under the Illinois Child Pornography Act to take or receive a nude picture of an individual under the age of 18, even if that the subject of the photo is the one sending it. The act of taking the picture or video recording of a lewd, suggestive, or nude act exhibiting part of the genitals (including female breasts), buttocks, or pubic area could be considered child pornography if the subject is under the age of 18. Asking for such a picture may be solicitation or enticement. Forwarding it or otherwise transmitting it to other individuals may be considered reproducing or disseminating child pornography. Participating in any of the above acts could subject an individual to federal intervention.
The mere rumor of a sex crime, especially involving a child, is enough to damage any reputation. In addition to the embarrassment, a conviction also carries potential jail time, fines, and a possible requirement to register with the state’s sex offender registry. Registered sex offenders are prohibited from living in certain locations and may be limited regarding the daily activities enjoyed by adults with their growing children.
If you have been charged with a sex crime as the result of sexting or any other activity, contact an experienced Wheaton criminal defense attorney. Call 630-933-8400 for a free consultation with Salvatore C. Miglore & Associates today.