In Maryland, a 16-year-old girl texted a video of herself engaging in a consensual sex act to her best friends. The highest court in Maryland has decided the girl is a child pornographer.
"For the first time, the Maryland Court of Appeals said it had to grapple with applying the state's child pornography law to minor teens who consensually engage in sexting," writes Tasneem Nashrulla at BuzzFeed News:
In a similar case last year, a 14-year-old girl in Minnesota was charged with a felony distribution of child pornography after she sent an explicit Snapchat selfie of herself to a boy she liked. The boy distributed the selfie to other students without the girl's permission.
"It is nonsensical to suggest that [Jane Doe] is both a victim and the perpetrator of her own abuse," the ACLU said in a statement in 2018 urging the court to dismiss the charge against the Minnesota teen. "Jane created the sext of her own body. She was not an exploited child victim. She was exhibiting normal adolescent behavior in the digital age," the statement said.
A district judge in Minnesota later dismissed the "absurd" and "unjust" charge against the 14-year-old, saying that the state's child pornography law was targeted at adults who abuse children, and not at teens who sext each other.
Earlier this year, Maryland's lawmakers failed to pass a bill that would have determined if sexting violated the state's child pornography statute.
The Maryland Court of Appeals urged lawmakers to consider such legislation again to "address this contemporary issue."
A Teen Is A Child Pornographer For Sexting A Video Of Herself To Her Friends, A Court Ruled [buzzfeednews.com, image: shutterstock]