For example, individuals who are dating might send each other nude pictures.
Because, however, the pictures involved in sexting are digital, it is easy for recipients to distribute them in ways that the original sender never intended or imagined.
Updated September 2017 On September 14, 2017, the Washington Supreme Court ruled in State v.
EG that a minor can be charged with distribution of child pornography for taking and sending a picture of their intimate areas to another person.
Far too common is the case where jilted former lovers have sent nude pictures of their exes after a bad break-up to classmates, friends, coworkers, and relatives.
At that point, sexting is neither consensual nor innocuous.
Take, for example, the scenario where a minor sends a nude picture to his or her partner and the partner later forwards the image to friends and classmates after the couple breaks up.
The second sender is clearly the bad actor, but the law treats everyone involved the same, and both can be convicted of a felony.
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.
If all parties involved were 18 or over, however, there is no crime whatsoever.
Further, current law penalizes harassment in underage sexting cases just as harshly as the perpetrator.
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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.