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Suburban teens,charged for taking and sending nude cell-phone

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Sending nude photos of myself is a crime? Teens surveyed say that's news to
them

Posted by Rachel Dissell/Plain Dealer Reporter
January 30, 2009 12:25PM

Categories: Breaking News ,
Real Time News

Associated Press fileExchanging cell-phone photos is common for teens these days -- but the law says nude photos are a crime.

CLEVELAND - Eight suburban teens, who were charged with a crime for taking and sending nude cell-phone pictures of themselves, were back in court today to tell the judge that most kids don't know that what they did was illegal.

Cuyahoga County Juvenile Court Judge Thomas F. O'Malley had
ordered the teens to survey at least 200 of their friends and schoolmates to find out how many of them knew that taking and sending the pictures was illegal.

One teen, speaking for the group, gave the final tally: 138 kids did not know it was illegal; 62 said they knew it was.

The teens conducted the survey and learned about the law concerning cell phones, the Internet and legal consent to sexual activity. As a result, they
will not face felony charges.

Robin Palmer of the Mokita Center, which deals with such issues and who
worked with most of the kids, said they were eager to learn. She said the
teens weren't intentionally breaking the law but lacked the education to
know what the law was.

Many of their parents, who were also in court, said that education had
fallen far behind technology and the law. Most didn't know what their kids
were doing, or that it could get the teens arrested or force them to
register as sex offenders.

From The
> Plain Dealer's earlier story:

The teens, from Mayfield and Highland Heights, knew that taking provocative
photos of themselves and sending them with their cell phones was imprudent -
but they didn't think it was illegal.

Even their parents, who were shocked at the pictures, didn't know their 14-,
15- and 16-year-olds could be charged with felonies.


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