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Teen 'Sexting' on the Rise

Pa. high schoolers charged with child porn

Teen 'Sexting' on the Rise

GREENSBURG, Pa. - Teens are "sexting" more and more, reports indicate, and earlier this week, six Pennsylvania high school students were charged with child porn for sending nude photos in cell phone text messages.

Sexting can be just sending sexual text messages or sending explicit photos or other graphic material.

News services such as MSNBC/AP report the three teenage girls, 14-15, allegedly took nude or semi-nude photos of themselves and sent them to three male classmates, 16-17, by phone.

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The girls have been charged with manufacturing, disseminating or possessing child pornography, while the boys face possession charges.

Police told WPXI-TV in Pittsburgh the photos were discovered in October, after school officials seized a cell phone from a male student who was using it in violation of school rules and found one of the nude photos on the device.

The mother of one of the male students said her son did not really know the girl who sent him the questionable photo and he had "done nothing wrong."

While this is the first prominent sexting report that has led to charges, the practice is growing among American teens. And most are now aware is it against the law because they are underage.

Last month, the National Campaign to Support Teen and CosmoGirl.com released a study stating about 20 percent of U.S. teens have admitted to sexting, sending or posting nude or semi-nude photos or video of themselves.

Government and school officials say many teens use sexting to seek dates and friendship, but do not understand the social or legal consequences.

"I don't think it even crosses their mind," Daniel "Woody" Breyer, chief deputy prosecutor in Clermont County, told Cincinatti.com. "I think that kids are in the moment. What's going to happen today? What are we doing tonight? What are we doing this weekend?"

Of the six teens in Pennsylvania, CBS News legal analyst Lisa Bloom said, "This is a serious felony. They could be facing many years in prison."

Police and the Hamilton County Prosecutor's Office in Pennsylvania are still evaluating the charges to decide if it's a criminal matter or one to be settled by the school and parents.






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