More "Sexting" Nonsense


A 14-year-old New Jersey girl has been arrested on child pornography charges for posting nude photos of herslef to MySpace, bringing us once again into the bizarre realm where not only is it possibly to criminally exploit oneself, but where police and prosecutors valiantly protect children from making bad decisions by arresting them and threatening them with sex offender status.

And here's a case in Pennsylvania where the girls weren't even actually nude:

The picture that investigators from the office of District Attorney George P. Skumanick of Wyoming County had was taken two years earlier at a slumber party. It showed Marissa and a friend from the waist up. Both were wearing bras.

Mr. Skumanick said he considered the photo "provocative" enough to tell Marissa and the friend, Grace Kelly, that if they did not attend a 10-hour class dealing with pornography and sexual violence, he was considering filing a charge of sexual abuse of a minor against both girls. If convicted, they could serve time in prison and would probably have to register as sex offenders.

Once again, this shouldn't be a law enforcement issue. It's a parent issue. You're doing a hell of a lot more damage by arresting these teens and threatening them with prosecution than passing naked photos between cell phones possibly could.

Jacob Sullum and prior Reason coverage of "sexting" arrests here and here.