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Thus, a 17-year-old who snaps his or her own revealing picture has technically created child pornography, a Class 1 felony with a mandatory fine of between ,000 and 0,000 and at least four years in prison.

While the statute does not define "sufficient time," sooner is better than later.

In addition to risking reputation and self-esteem, sexting teenagers also expose themselves, their peers, and their school administrators to significant criminal liability. Most alarmingly, a sexting minor, or a recipient of a sext message from a minor, may have committed one or more felonies under the Illinois Child Pornography Act (the "Act").

anyone he or she should know is under the age of 18 and who is engaged in any sexual act or in any pose involving lewd exhibition of unclothed or transparently clothed genitals, pubic area, buttocks, or female breast.

Finding and deleting an unsolicited sext message an hour after its receipt better demonstrates involuntary possession than does carrying a sext message on the phone for two months or more.

The Act dictates that cell phones used for sexting by minors must be For example, students who post prohibited pictures on their Facebook pages have likely violated federal criminal law. In Illinois, someone who commits the offense of child pornography is a "sex offender" and must register and report as such.

but even compliant individuals face the shame and scrutiny of public reporting. Michelle Manchir, , Chicago Tribune (posted March 18, 2010), online at A similar bill, HB 4583, passed the Illinois House on March 11.

Beyond registering and reporting as sex offenders, students convicted of child pornography may also be bound by other restrictions that can significantly complicate their lives. Bland, , Arizona Republic (Aug 27, 2009) (cited in note 6) ("Lawmakers in Vermont, Utah and Ohio are making sexting a misdemeanor instead of a felony when the cases involve teenagers, and as long as the sender voluntarily transmitted the image."). Act of May 9, 2009, 2009 Vt Laws 58§ 4, to be codified at 13 VSA§ 2802b, online at Another slightly more punitive sexting bill, HB 5164, was still alive at presstime. Telephone conversation with Dave Haslett, Chief of the Illinois Attorney General’s High Tech Crimes Bureau (Sep 28, 2009). See Bassett, , The Telegraph (Jun 27, 2009) (cited in note 5) (Explaining that school districts are reviewing and amending policy to account for recent sexting behavior). Telephone conversation with Daniel Spillman, attorney for the Illinois Attorney General High Tech Crimes Bureau (May 13, 2009).

Fortunately for you, e Harmony's online dating services can connect you with Mr. Right - whether they're in your neighborhood, city or state.By being aware of the relevant law and having policies in place to deal with sexting, prosecutors and law enforcement, school districts, parents, and teenagers themselves can curb sexting behavior while avoiding liability.The crime of sexting Sexting can have serious social and emotional consequences for teens and adults alike - especially where a picture is taken without knowledge, forwarded without consent, or used to bully and harass.Further, the embarrassment of uncontrolled dissemination of personal and private pictures can significantly disrupt the teen's life.For example, after hundreds of people were sent sext messages a teen had sent only to her boyfriend, she was cruelly harassed through My Space and Facebook, leading her to hang herself.

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