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US teenager faces child porn charges for explicit Snapchat selfie

The 14-year-old teenager in question allegedly sent a selfie of herself to a boy she liked.

  • Published: December 26, 2017 10:43 AM IST
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The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of Minnesota has come out in support of a teenager who is facing child pornography charges for sharing an explicit selfie of herself on Snapchat. The 14-year-old teenager sent the selfie to a boy she liked. The minor is now facing criminal charges from Rice County after authorities discovered that her male classmate showed the Snapchat photo to fellow students, Newsweek reported on Sunday.

The teenager could face up to 10 years on the sex offender registry. In defence of the girl, the ACLU of Minnesota has said the prosecutor was abusing the intent of the law. While the intent of the law is to “protect minors from the physical and psychological damage caused by their being used in pornographic work depicting sexual conduct which involves minors”, in this case, the state is doing the victimising, ACLU of Minnesota said in a statement.

“To suggest that a juvenile who sends a sexually explicit selfie is a victim of her own act of child pornography is illogical,” said the ACLU Minnesota’s Legal Director Teresa Nelson, according to CBS Minnesota. “Child pornography laws are supposed to protect minors from predators,” Nelson said. Sexting, which refers to a wide range of behaviours — from sending sexually suggestive text messages to explicit photos or videos, is quite common.

“Should more than one in every 10 teenagers be charged and placed on a sex offender registry for sending or receiving a sext? Of course not. Using the law to set an example and shame some teenagers undermines the seriousness and intent of child pornography laws,” ACLU of Minnesota said.

“I’m not a criminal for taking a selfie,” the teenager was quoted as saying by ACLU of Minnesota. “Sexting is common among teens at my school, and we shouldn’t face charges for doing it. I don’t want anyone else to go through what I’m going through,” she said.

  • Published Date: December 26, 2017 10:43 AM IST