Atlanta police are investigating a sexting incident involving students at The Lovett School. One eighth grade student has already been suspended and another has withdrawn.
The Atlanta Journal Constitution has the story.
The Child Exploitation Unit of the Atlanta Police Department has launched an investigation into the matter after learning that more Lovett School students may have sent or received inappropriate photos. Police have not yet said whether charges will be filed against those involved.
The term “sexting” most commonly refers to the sending and receiving of sexual images via cell phone. When the picture is of a person under the age of 18, the sender and receiver can be charged with a felony. This is true even when the photo in question is of the person sending the text message.
Individuals arrested for sexting are commonly charged with the crime of sexual exploitation of a child. If convicted, a person aged 17 years or older could face between five and 20 years in prison and would be forced to register as a sex offender. Those under 17 could also face tough penalties.
In cases where the underage person made the image, or was the person transmitting or receiving it, there may be constitutional protections that apply. This is a new area of law and our firm is working hard to make sure that kids are not prosecuted under unduly harsh sex offender laws for communications that occur exclusively between minors. There is a big difference between a 40 year old sexual predator who molests young children, and a teenage girl sending naked pictures of herself to her boyfriend.
Page Pate is an accomplished trial lawyer with over 25 years of experience in criminal defense, civil litigation, and whistleblower representation. Page is listed in The Best Lawyers in America, Top 100 Lawyers by The National Trial Lawyers, and named to the list of Super Lawyers for the past 15 consecutive years. Page is a frequent expert legal analyst for local and national media and has served as an Adjunct Professor at the University of Georgia Law School. Read Page’s reviews on AVVO. Follow Page on Twitter @pagepate and on Linkedin.