Should Cops Arrest a 14-Year-Old Boy on Child Porn Charges Because He Sexted?

Investigation occupied the Redding, Connecticut, police department for three months.



Redding, Connecticut, cops arrested a 14-year-old boy and charged him with possession of child pornography, harassment, and obscenity. He must be quite the evil young man. 

Or is he? Perhaps he's just a regular, slightly flawed but perfectly healthy and well-adjusted teenage boy. 

This news story makes it impossible to determine the exact nature of his crime, but if I had to hazard a guess, I would say that he likely shared an illicit photo of a similarly-aged female—perhaps his girlfriend—with some of his friends. 

That was a mistake on his part. It's wrong to share inappropriate photos of other people without their permission. Youngsters who do so should be reprimanded by their parents. If the photos were shared at school (which does not seem to be the case here), the school is justified in dishing out some reasonable punishment. Authority figures should instruct teens to behave responsibly and respect each other's bodies. 

What shouldn't happen is exactly what did happen. This is simply not a matter for the police, even if nude photos shared between underage teens violate the letter of child pornography laws. Kids are not predators. It's not wrong for 14-year-olds to express sexual interest in each other. 

According to, the cops investigated this teen for three months. Three. Entire. Months. How many police resources were tied up while the officers were busy figuring out why two teens were sexting each other? 

The kid has been "release into the custody of his parents," who ought to give him a stern talking-to. Why society has seen fit to brand him a criminal as well truly boggles the mind.