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Prosecutors Charge 14-Year-Old Girl As Sex Offender For Nude Selfie

Rice County Attorney John Fossum is charging the girl with felonies for victimizing herself.

Minneapolis, MN – A 14-year-old girl has been charged with a felony after she sent sexually explicit photos of herself to a classmate through Snapchat.

The suspect said that she is not a criminal, according to CBS Minnesota.

“Sexting is common among teens at my school, and we shouldn’t face charges for doing it. I don’t want anyone else to go through what I’m going through,” the 14-year-old girl said in a statement released by the Minnesota chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union of Minnesota (ACLU-MN).

Police became aware of the explicit photo after the boy she sent it to started showing it around to his classmates, according to the New York Daily News.

ACLU-MN said they are in support of the 14-year-old girl, identified only as Jane Doe, and believe prosecutors are not taking into account the intent of the state’s child pornography statute.

They recently filed a brief to challenge the Rice County prosecutor’s decision to charge Jane Doe with dissemination of child porn.

In its brief, the ACLU-MN said “[Name of girl redacted] cannot criminally ‘use’ or ‘victimize’ herself. In fact, the child pornography statute does not even attempt to address the phenomenon widely known as ‘sexting.’”

“No reasonable kid would realize that what she is doing is wrong and that what she is doing is a felony and so that’s another reason that the court should not allow this prosecution to go forward,” ACLU-MN legal director Teresa Nelson said.

“What my daughter went through at school with the other students was really rough,” her father said, “and when we found out she was also facing criminal charges my first thought was, ‘Why are we victimizing the victim?’”

The ACLU-MN said that the laws exist to prosecute people who endanger or victimize juveniles.

“To suggest that a juvenile who sends a sexually explicit selfie is a victim of her own act of child pornography is illogical,” Nelson said. “Child pornography laws are supposed to protect minors from predators, and Jane Doe is not a predator.”

Rice County Attorney John Fossum confirmed to Minnesota Public Radio that he signed off on the charges.

According to the ACLU-MN, the girl would be forced to register as a predatory sex offender for the next 10 years if she’s found guilty.

Do you think that juveniles should be criminally charged for taking nude photos of themselves? We’d like to hear from you. Please let us know in the comments.

GinnyReed - December Sat, 2017

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