The Law and "Sexting"
This is the latest information about mobile phone pictures and the risks of 'texting'.This extract is from pages 34/35 of Am I old enough?, a Victorian Government publication outlining common legal issues for young people. It is freely available - either as a booklet or as a PDF: <www.legalaid.vic.gov.au>.
You could be charged by the police with producing child pornography if you:
This is a crime if the photo includes a person under 18. Sexting is already leading to young people being charged by police with child pornography offences.
Think carefully about the consequences of taking or sending pictures of your friends on your mobile phone, especially if they are not fully dressed and even if they agree. You could be charged by police for committing a criminal offence.
It may seem like harmless fun, but be careful - once you send pictures electronically they can become part of your ‘digital footprint' and this lasts forever. It could damage your future career prospects or relationships.
You could also be charged with possessing child pornography if you go onto the internet and download pornography showing people under 18. If you put a pornographic photo or video on the internet or your phone, print a photo, or email or text it to a friend, you could be charged with publishing or transmitting child pornography. You could be charged even if you are the same age or younger than the person in the picture or video.
People found guilty of sexual offences or child pornography can incur serious penalties and are prevented from working or volunteering with children.
Louise Symons - Wellbeing Leader
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