“Sexting” Cases Draw More Police Attention As Child-Porn Violations

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Police in some areas are spending more time looking into “sexting” cases. Plainfield, Il., police seized nine cell phones after a 16-year-old high school honors student took a nude photograph of herself and sent it to a male student, the Chicago Tribune reports. “It’s something that’s starting to become more and more of a problem,” said Plainfield police Sgt. Anthony Novak.

In one sign of how quickly the photo spread, some of the original senders told police they had received it from other people last week, according to court documents. Viewing the photograph and forwarding violate child pornography statutes, though police and prosecutors typically handle such cases through juvenile probation. No one has been charged. A recent Pew Research Center survey found that 4 percent of teen cell phone owners ages 12 to 17 reported sending a “nude or nearly nude” image of themselves to one another and 15 percent reported receiving such a photo.

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