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Tue Jun 25, 2019, 08:55 AM

Co. Supreme Ct. Upholds Decision Forcing Teen to Register As Sex Offender for Swapping Nude Selfies

Warning to certain individuals: this thread links to Reason.com. If that bothers you, please find some other thread that will cause you less distress. You are free to ignore the problem.

The law's not something abstract that just happens to people. Police and prosecutors decided to make this case.


Colorado Supreme Court Upholds a Decision That Forced a Teenager to Register As a Sex Offender for Swapping Nude Selfies

That result "may strike some as unfair," the court says, but it's what state law required at the time.

JACOB SULLUM | 6.24.2019 3:30 PM

As of January 2018, teenagers in Colorado who use their cellphones to exchange nude selfies can no longer be prosecuted for "sexual exploitation of a child." But that change, which state legislators approved after recognizing the manifest injustice of treating adolescent sexting as equivalent to the production and distribution of child pornography, came five years too late for "T.B.," a 15-year-old boy who in 2012 and 2013 swapped erotic pictures with two girls, a 15-year-old and a 17-year-old. Last week the Colorado Supreme Court upheld T.B.'s adjudication as delinquent for sexually exploiting children, which requires him to register as a sex offender for at least 20 years. ... The majority conceded that its decision "may strike some as unfair, especially given the recent changes in the law addressing juvenile sexting behavior." But T.B. violated the law that applied at the time, the court said, so he is out of luck.

Two dissenting justices argued that their colleagues had misread the statute and that the majority's interpretation raises troubling constitutional issues. "In my view," writes Justice Richard Gabriel in a dissent joined by Justice Melissa Hart, "the acts of sexting that occurred here do not constitute sexual exploitation of a child, and the juvenile should not be branded as a sex offender for having participated in such foolish—albeit not uncommon—acts."

T.B. met the two girls at a Future Farmers of America conference in September 2012 and stayed in touch with them afterward. He sent both of them a picture of his erect penis and asked them to reciprocate with photos of themselves. That fall the 17-year-old, identified as E.H., sent him three pictures, two of which showed her "curled up in a corner with her knees drawn up against her body" and her bare breasts visible. The third photo showed E.H. "standing near a bathroom shower, covering her breasts with one arm and revealing the profile of her nude body turned away at a slight angle." That spring the 15-year-old girl, identified as L.B., sent T.B. a self-portrait showing her reflection in a bedroom mirror; she was topless and had a towel around her waist.

In March 2013 police arrested T.B. on unrelated sexual assault charges. Although a jury acquitted him of those charges, the photos of E.H. and L.B. that police found on his cellphone led to a separate case in which T.B. was charged with two counts of sexually exploiting a child. After a bench trial, "the court adjudicated T.B. delinquent, sentenced him to concurrent, two-year terms of juvenile sex offender probation, and required him to register as a sex offender."

Ummm, not so good, that last part. What "unrelated sexual assault charges"?

From the article, this sounds like a case where they couldn't convict him on another crime so they chased frivolous charges against him to find some way to punish him for the sexual assault they couldn't convict on.

Seems like they went after him on the sexting charges because they lost on the unrelated sexual assault charges.

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Reply Co. Supreme Ct. Upholds Decision Forcing Teen to Register As Sex Offender for Swapping Nude Selfies (Original post)
mahatmakanejeeves Jun 2019 OP
RKP5637 Jun 2019 #1
hlthe2b Jun 2019 #2

Response to mahatmakanejeeves (Original post)

Tue Jun 25, 2019, 09:03 AM

1. Incredible!!! n/t

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Response to mahatmakanejeeves (Original post)

Tue Jun 25, 2019, 09:54 AM

2. Kids ought to get a break. That said, I know I'm too far out to be relevent, but even 25 and 30 yo

that I know are really shocked at how teens/adolescents think nothing of sharing nude photos of themselves and this from some who were pretty wild themselves (and certainly sexually active) as teens. Admittedly, it has always left me amazed and actually shocked (early on) and curious as to whether it is the explicitness of graphic sex in movies, on the internet, a lack of attention or discussion from the parents, peer pressure (likely) or something else that explains this practice sans any concern for consequences.

I feel for the kids that are being made the example though. That's a lifetime of misery.

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