I've posted on this issue before (here, here, and here), as a way of raising awareness about the trend and inherent dangers of teens sending out or posting racy digital photos. Just yesterday at HomeWord, we received a question on this from a parent of a twelve-year-old girl. Mom discovered that the girl had photos on her phone of pictures she had taken of her breasts. This morning, I ran across this news story - and I'm posting it as another reminder this is a real issue that must be addressed between parents and kids.

A 15-year-old Ohio girl faces felony charges and may have to register as a sex offender for allegedly taking nude photos of herself and sending them to her high school classmates.

The girl, whose name has not been released, was arrested last week and charged in juvenile court with possessing criminal tools and the illegal use of a minor in nudity-oriented material, said Licking County, Ohio, prosecutor Ken Oswalt.

Her alleged actions are part of what some in law enforcement say is a growing problem around the country.

"There's a totally false perception among juveniles that there is no risk to this," Oswalt told ABCNews.com. "That picture, once taken and sent, gives anyone who receives it the ability to do anything with it, forever. If a picture of you found its way onto the Internet, that's going to haunt you, potentially forever."

If convicted, the girl could face a sentence of anywhere from probation to several years in a juvenile detention center. A judge also has the discretion to make the girl register as a sex offender under Ohio law.

Oswalt said other teens who received the photographs, which are considered child pornography under state law, may also be charged.

Law enforcement agencies and schools across the country say they are struggling to deal with a relatively new phenomenon -- teens who send nude photos to friends and classmates.

Source: ABC News
http://abcnews.go.com/TheLaw/Story?id=5995084&page=1

For more information on how to deal with this issue in your home, read my article on HomeWord.com:

Digital Photos: An Overlooked Danger of Cyberspace

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