A teenage boy from North Carolina has struck a plea deal to avoid going to jail for having naked photos of himself on his phone.
The Guardian reports that 17 year old Cormega Copening was 16 at the time he took photos of himself was prosecuted under US Federal child pornography laws, despite himself being both the perpetrator and the victim of the crime.
Apparently he was charged with four counts of making and possessing images of himself, with one additional count of having photos of his 16 year old girlfriend. She too has been prosecuted for similar charges. As the Graun points out, what makes it a bit weird too is that the so-called "sexting" is illegal for both of them, yet if they were to actually have sex it would be fine as the age of consent in North Carolina is 16. They were both prosecuted despite not sharing the images any further.
In most cases like this though the laws are technically on the books, apparently the authorities have not tended to prosecute similarly-aged teenagers from exchanging photos - and what has complicated things here is that kids over 16 in NC can be prosecuted as adults. Unsurprisingly, most of the laws that have impacted this case were passed back when mobile phones were the size of bricks and photos were something you took to Boots to get developed.
As a result of Copening's plea bargain, he will apparently be subject to warrantless searches as well as receiving "other penalties". So if you're under 18 and thinking of sexting in North Carolina, it might be a better idea not to do so. [The Guardian]