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Sexting and child pornography

Before sending that nude photo, or sexting, your boyfriend or girlfriend, (if you or the other party are under 18 years old), it may be useful to think twice. You may think that it is legal since the law allows persons 16 years and older to engage in lawful sexual intercourse.

The Commonwealth law, however, also considers any person under the age of 18 to be a “child” for the purposes of pornography legislation. You could be charged with a criminal offense. What seems like harmless “fun” might have very serious legal consequences!

When your boyfriend, or girlfriend, asks you to send him/her a nude photo, consider the following. When sexting involves someone under the age of 18 years old, it can be considered child pornography. A photo can qualify as pornography if it is of a sexual nature.  It does not have to be of explicit sex. So when are you risking being charged under Child pornography laws?

Under Commonwealth law you could be charged with child pornography offences if the other person is 17 years old, or younger, and you commit any of the following acts:

  • You asked for photo’s of a sexual nature – “causing” child pornography
  • You took the photo – “creating” child pornography
  • You received and viewed the photo– “accessing” pornographic material
  • You kept the photo – “possessing” child pornography

If you resend, post or pass around the photo you are committing further offenses.

if you get caught and convicted under Child Pornography laws, there are serious consequences. The maximum penalties for child pornography can be up to 15 years in jail and being placed on the sex offender register. If you are under 18 at the time of the offence, you may also be registered as a sex offender.

You may have to live with the consequences of that photo for the rest of your life. So until the law regarding social media is changed, think before you sext !

Disclaimer : This article is just a summary of the subject matter being discussed and should not be regarded as a comprehensive legal advice for you to defend yourself alone. If you are charged with criminal offences, it is recommended that you seek legal assistance from criminal lawyers.

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