Chicago Teens Had Consensual Sex: Charged With Child Pornography to “Send a Message”

Four teens are facing felony child-pornography charges after uploading a sex video to Twitter and may even have to register as sex offenders. Three boys and a girl, all between the ages of 14 and 16, are being held in juvenile custody until their court hearing. Many are wondering who will benefit from branding these teens as sex predators for life.

Police have confirmed that the sex between the teens was consensual, as well as the posting of the video. However, under Illinois state law, minors who post sexually-oriented images or videos of themselves online, even if sharing it privately, are subject to be charged as child pornographers.

Tweeting a live orgy is not a wise move for anyone, and teens aren’t particularly known for their wisdom—they’re still in a rather early developmental stage and are still very impulsive. They are “inclined to take risks, like experimenting with drugs or alcohol, driving without a license or having unsafe sex.”

These matters should be addressed by the parents, or even a school counselor or administrator, but not the criminal justice system. To be branded a sex predator is a crippling punishment for anyone, and although this fate is fitting for actual sex offenders, it clearly is not meant to be applied to a child who is still in the learning process and whose guidance is the responsibility of an adult guardian.

The video was reported to police by the girl’s mother.

The police “want the charges against these teens to serve as a cautionary tale to other youths engaged in high-risk behavior.”

The child pornography offense that was charged is in place for a reason, because we don’t want to accept that type of behavior as a society,” stated Joliet Police Chief, Brian Benton. “It’s making a strong statement, and I think it’s important to do so, to send a message to others that kids shouldn’t be involved in this type of behavior, and hopefully this will serve as a deterrent.” He adds, “It’s an incident you may not recover from.”

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