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Sexting

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NEWS
January 27, 2010
WHAT'S DUMBER than taking a nude picture of yourself with a cell phone and sending it to all your friends? That would be the punishment adults dreamed up for the teens who do this when they send explicit messages via their cell phones - a practice called "sexting. " Under state law, a sexting teenager can face a felony charge for distributing child pornography. His name can be put in a registry of sex offenders for 10 years. Thankfully, the state Legislature is seriously considering House Bill 2189, which would downgrade the offense to a misdemeanor.
NEWS
December 22, 2011
JAMESTOWN, PA. - A northwestern Pennsylvania social-studies teacher is behind bars charged with sending sexually explicit text messages to two students. The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports Kevin Anthony Defrancesco, 28, was arraigned on corruption-of-minors charges for messages he allegedly sent to two female students, 13 and 14, beginning in October. Investigators say Defrancesco asked one of the girls to send him pictures of herself and traded pictures with the other.
NEWS
March 25, 2010 | MICHAEL SMERCONISH
FRANK Rizzo used to say, "Never send a letter, and never throw one away. " If he were alive today, Mayor Rizzo would need to update that for a 21st-century audience. I'm thinking, "Never send a naked picture, and never forward one. " By now, you've certainly heard the term "sexting" - young people sending explicit pictures via cell phones. Practically speaking, smart phones and digital cameras have made transmitting those images something that's done without any real thought.
NEWS
August 10, 2010
Wednesday's editorial "Juvenile behavior" incorrectly suggests that legislation currently being considered in Harrisburg would criminalize "sexting. " Sexting is already a crime in Pennsylvania. What most people don't understand is that anyone, even a minor, who sends sexually explicit photos of kids under 18 from his or her cell phone to another cell phone commits a serious crime. Under current law, sexting is a felony offense. Teens currently charged with sexting, if convicted, could face placement away from home; end up as a registered sex offenders; and could be dogged the rest of their lives with a permanent criminal record.
NEWS
October 18, 2011 | By Joelle Farrell, Inquirer Staff Writer
If a teenage girl sends her teenage boyfriend a naked picture of herself, is it child pornography? And if that same couple has a nasty breakup and the boy sends the picture to the entire high school football team, should he be prosecuted for possessing and disseminating child pornography? State lawmakers are grappling with these questions as they tinker with laws to account for "sexting," the transmission of explicit pictures via cellphone, an activity that doesn't fit well into the laws currently on the books.
NEWS
March 18, 2010 | By Nathan Gorenstein INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
A federal appeals court yesterday decided not to decide whether photos in a "sexting" controversy are free speech protected by the First Amendment. But the three judges in Philadelphia said a prosecutor could not charge a teenage girl merely for appearing in a photograph without evidence she had engaged in distributing it. The case before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit gained national attention this year because it was, potentially, the first appeals case to address whether free-speech law protected "sexting" - sending sexually explicit messages or photos to cell phones.
NEWS
November 1, 2011 | STAFF REPORT
A 25-year-old Coatesville man has been charged in sending hundreds of sexually explicit text messages to the phone of a 12-year-old girl. Authorities began investigating Michael David Petrash after text messages were discovered on the girl's phone, said West Goshen police. Both Petrash and the girl were students together at a martial arts school, according to court records. According to court documents, Petrash used the text messages to instruct the child to participate in sexually explicit activities.
NEWS
January 26, 2010 | By DOM GIORDANO
I'M not alone in observing that we've become a society in which frivolous lawsuits are rampant. A case in federal appeals court here is a perfect example. But this is not just another run-of-the-mill frivolous lawsuit. The case before the judges involves "sexting" - the social and technological phenomenon of taking and sending explicit photos via cell phones. It's a serious issue and one worthy of public debate. What makes this case so important is that it could end up deciding for the first time whether teens can be prosecuted under current Pennsylvania child-pornography laws for "sexting.
NEWS
August 5, 2010 | By Daniel Rubin, Inquirer Columnist
Nancy Willard - author, lawyer, and expert on sexting - has seen this picture before: A teenage girl sends an intimate photo of herself to a boyfriend, who becomes an ex-boyfriend, who forwards the image to his buddies. Soon his pals are frog-marched out of school in handcuffs, their case hits the media, and legislators harrumph with well-meaning ham-handedness. There is no better recipe for bad law, she says, than one that combines teens, sex, and technology. So Pennsylvania lawmakers need to think a little more before going forward with their latest effort to outlaw sexting, says Willard, who directs the Center for Safe and Responsible Internet Use. The law shouldn't victimize the victim.
NEWS
April 6, 2009
Any district attorney who said he wanted to pursue one out of every five teenagers on felony child pornography charges would be laughed out of the courthouse - then booted from office by voters at the next election. But that's the implication of the disturbing crackdowns by prosecutors in upstate Pennsylvania, North Jersey, and other communities over teens' immature practice of circulating racy photos of themselves by cell phone message and online. Fully one-fifth of teenagers and a third of young adults in their early 20s have told pollsters that they have sent sexually suggestive text messages - so-called sexting - or posted nude or seminude photos of themselves on the Web. Prosecutors like Wyoming County District Attorney George Skumanick Jr. say criminal charges against these teens is the best way to send a message on the dangers of children baring themselves in cyberspace.
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ENTERTAINMENT
April 8, 2015 | By Tirdad Derakhshani, Inquirer Staff Writer
Amber hearts Johnny OK, so we don't know whether any of this is true or not, but reports are making us blush about this here Amber Heard and that dude she just married, Johnny Depp. He's way over there filming the 1,197th Pirates of the Caribbean thing, and she's way over there, filming The Danish Girl . OK, they just got married, they're far away, so whatcha do? Between scenes, you scurry to your trailer and get to sexting your new mate! Sext, sext, sext, until the phone (or the recipient)
NEWS
December 21, 2013 | By Melanie Burney, Inquirer Staff Writer
TRENTON A bill that would exempt New Jersey teenagers caught sexting with their peers from registering as sex offenders stalled in the Assembly on Thursday. The measure was scheduled for a vote by the full Assembly but hit a last-minute snag, said Wayne P. D'Angelo (D., Mercer), one of its sponsors. "It was a done deal," D'Angelo said, adding that he was "highly disappointed" by the setback, which stemmed from a provision that would impose a $30 monthly fee on sex offenders to pay for increased oversight by parole officers.
NEWS
July 27, 2013 | By Jonathan Lemire and Jennifer Peltz, Associated Press
NEW YORK - Anthony Weiner said Thursday that he'd traded racy messages with as many as three women since similar sexting forced him out of Congress. But as he tried to tamp down questions about his behavior, a poll suggested the new disclosures were taking a toll on his mayoral prospects. Facing a third day of renewed queries and criticism of his conduct as he continued campaigning, the married Democrat also said he supposed he'd had sexually charged exchanges with a total of six to 10 women; he'd previously capped that number at six. Weiner, the congressman who resigned in 2011 after the first batch of sexts surfaced, is running for New York mayor and had been near the top of most polls of the Democratic primary race until the latest furor over his behavior began this week when the gossip website The Dirty posted explicit messages that a woman said she and Weiner sent each other starting in July 2012.
NEWS
July 25, 2013 | ASSOCIATED PRESS
NEW YORK - Anthony Weiner found himself caught in another sexting scandal yesterday like the one that destroyed his congressional career, but stood side-to-side with his wife to say that he won't drop out of the race for mayor of New York. "This is entirely behind me," Weiner, a/k/a "Carlos Danger" (more on that in a minute), said at an evening news conference, hours after the gossip website The Dirty posted X-rated text messages and a crotch photo that it said the former congressman exchanged with a woman.
NEWS
April 26, 2013 | By Sam Wood, PHILLY.COM
If you haven't had a good reason to talk with your children, your siblings or your parents about the dangers of taking naked self-portraits, perhaps this will drive the point home. Federal authorities announced last week that 14 young women had been blackmailed by a former congressional intern. Adam Savader, 21, from Great Neck, N.Y., allegedly targeted college students, many of them former high school classmates, from May 2012 through February 2013. According to an FBI affidavit, Savader hacked into private Internet accounts trolling for nude pictures usually only meant for the women's boyfriends.
NEWS
October 24, 2012
As long as there's a cellphone in practically every teenager's hand, it's inevitable that young people's practice of texting sexually explicit images will continue to pose a troubling problem for police, prosecutors, school officials, and parents. With the so-called sexting trend already years old, it's at least a hopeful sign that so many state officials are trying to come to grips with outdated laws on child pornography. Harsh antiporn laws - accompanied by imprisonment and lifelong assignment to sex-offender registries - clearly are ill-suited to dealing with actions that stem more from youthful excess and normal sexual experimentation rather than any criminal intent.
NEWS
October 20, 2012 | By Kathy Boccella, Inquirer Staff Writer
In 2009, three teenage girls at Greensburg Salem High School in Western Pennsylvania sent nude or seminude cellphone pictures of themselves to their boyfriends. All six were charged with child pornography, a felony that carries draconian sentences and lifelong consequences such as registering as a sex offender. Wednesday, Pennsylvania joined a growing number of states in passing a bill that would punish kids for sexting, but not necessarily ruin their lives. Under House Bill 815, youths 12 to 17 who send, view, or disseminate sexually explicit images can be charged with a misdemeanor or summary offense, depending on the circumstances.
ENTERTAINMENT
December 24, 2011 | By Tirdad Derakhshani, Inquirer Staff Writer
Fox29 has suspended weatherguy John Bolaris , a station representative said Friday. The suspension Thursday followed a recent article in Playboy about Bolaris' misadventures in Florida in 2010 with a pair of young women who drugged him and made merry with his American Express card, to the tune of $43,000. The Playboy article wasn't the only reason Bolaris was suspended, a source said. It was merely the catalyst, capping a series of unpleasant newsroom incidents over the last year that included a dustup over Bolaris' desire to interview his bud Lenny Dykstra for the station.
NEWS
December 22, 2011
JAMESTOWN, PA. - A northwestern Pennsylvania social-studies teacher is behind bars charged with sending sexually explicit text messages to two students. The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports Kevin Anthony Defrancesco, 28, was arraigned on corruption-of-minors charges for messages he allegedly sent to two female students, 13 and 14, beginning in October. Investigators say Defrancesco asked one of the girls to send him pictures of herself and traded pictures with the other.
NEWS
December 6, 2011 | LOS ANGELES TIMES
ROUGHLY one in every 100 teens has engaged in so-called sexting, the sending of sexually explicit pictures of oneself via digital media, in the last year, according to a new study. But the senders who intended the images to be an intimate message for one special recipient may be surprised: 7.1 percent of Internet-using teenagers told the authors of the study that they had received at least one such image on their phone or computer in the last year. The study, published in the journal Pediatrics , concluded that sexting is not as common as many parents may think because of widespread reporting on the trend, legal actions against some who engage in it and, in some cases, unfamiliarity with kids' digital worlds.
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