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Jim Liebelt Christian Blog and Commentary

'Sexting' Teenagers Face Child-Porn Charges

  • Jim Liebelt
    Jim Liebelt
    Jim is Senior Writer, Editor and Researcher for the HomeWord Center for Youth and Family at Azusa Pacific University. Jim has over 25 years of experience as a youth and family ministry specialist, and has been on the HomeWord staff since 1998. He has served over the years as a pastor, author, youth ministry trainer, adjunct college instructor and speaker. Jim’s culture blog and parenting articles appear on HomeWord.com. Jim is a contributing author of culture and parenting articles to Crosswalk.com. Jim and his wife Jenny live in Olympia, WA.
  • 2009 Mar 24
  • Comments

I came across the following in the Orlando Sentinel. It has a lot of basic information about "sexting", much of which I've covered in other posts. What I found most interesting about this article is the story of Phillip Alpert, who at 18 emailed nude photos of his then 16-year-old ex-girlfriend to over 70 people. The result: Alpert was convicted of child pornography charges. He is now a registered sex offender, a moniker that will be attached to him until he's at least 43.

While government and law enforcement officials need to find ways to curtail the "sexting" trend, refinement in laws which govern these actions needs to be made in order to make the punishment "fit the crime." It seems inappropriate to classify adolescents who have "sexted" as sexual offenders and felons on equal footing with rapists and child molesters.

After his former girlfriend taunted him, Phillip Alpert remembered the nude photos she e-mailed to him while they were dating.

He took revenge with an electronic blast — e-mailing the photos of the 16-year-old girl to more than 70 people, including her parents, grandparents and teachers.

Three days later, Alpert, then 18, was charged with transmitting child pornography. Today Alpert is serving five years of probation for the crime, and he is registered as a sex offender — a label he must carry at least until he is 43.

"I didn't know how bad of a decision it was," Alpert, now 19, said recently at his MetroWest apartment. "I don't think it's fair."

Alpert is one of many people across the country who are being charged with felonies and getting sentenced as sex offenders for doing something their friends do all the time, unaware of potential criminal charges.

Source: Orlando Sentinel
http://www.orlandosentinel.com/sfl-sexting-030809,0,7801708.story

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