What is “sexting,” and can I really get into trouble?

Sexting is the electronic transmission of video information or an image of a non-consenting person who is nude or undressed so as to expose genitals, buttocks, pubic area, or female breasts. Sexting may be considered the distribution of child pornography if the image includes relevant images of an underage (under 18) person, whether consenting or not. Records of your phone/computer activity can be provided upon subpoena to the prosecution without your permission. Deleting an account does not mean it is not reachable for prosecution. 

You may be prosecuted for sending, displaying, reproducing, copying, transmitting, filming, soliciting (asking), or attempting to prepare/produce the “pornography.” Convictions for felony sex offenses carry prison time, and registration (lifelong) on the Sex Offender and Crimes Against Minors Registry. Again, deleting messages from your own device does not affect the prosecution’s ability to obtain what was transmitted, even if accounts are deleted since the transmission. 

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