What is sexting?
The Term sexting is used for sending nudes or sexually explicit content through the means of electronic gadgets. Teens are usually found sexting by sending nude pictures through their cellphones. Few states in US have specific regulation and criminal laws for tackling issues related to sexting, whereas other states do not have any specific laws against sexting. Maryland is one of the state which does not count sexting as a criminal offense. If the act of sexting is undertaken by an adult with a minor then he/she would be subjected to child pornography charges.
Sexting Law in Maryland
Maryland has no sexting law, however the teens can be prosecuted for intentionally placing the sexting clips of others on internet and causing them emotional distress. Sexting is known for giving a boost to cyberbullying, where the sexting clips are placed on internet to cause emotional trauma to the other person.
Although teen sexting in Maryland itself is not an illegal act, however the teens can be prosecuted for distributing and storing the nude pictures of any minor. In July 2016, a 17 years old boy was charged for distributing sexually explicit photos of minor girls. The pictures for which the boy was charged were originally selfies of high school girls, which they posted on their Instagram account themselves. Further details of such cases are always kept hidden as they involve minors.
Applying child pornography in case of sexting is a challenging task for the court, as the victim also broke the law by initially posting/messaging their explicit selfies. In such cases victims are the one who initially breaks the law by producing the child pornography.
How can Sexting cause trouble for the society?
Some experts consider sexting as a normal act of adolescence, however this act of teens is causing troubles for law enforcement authorities. Such an incident happened in one of a high school where nude clips of girls were uploaded on a website. The parents of those girls wanted an action against the boys who uploaded the pictures, however, the police officer couldn’t take any legal actions as the picture were selfies. According to a psychologist “There are high chances that your teenage daughter have been asked for a nude picture of herself”
Sexting is becoming an alarming situation in different states with the ease of communication mediums. The consequences of Sexting are becoming challenging for parents, schools and prosecutors as it has highlighted multiple other social issues in the society. The schools, parents and law enforcement authorities should take Teen sexting in Maryland seriously, as these explicit photos can damage the immature mind of a minors. It is the duty of parents, child psychologist and schools to guide students about the disadvantages of sexting. While conducting an awareness presentation in a school the state’s attorney asked a bunch of students certain questions regarding their privacy. Such Presentation and self-awareness sessions would enable the immature minds to take better measures to protect their privacy online.