This matter becomes increasingly complicated when you take into account the number of teenagers who engage in sexting. Some estimates claim that one in five teenagers have sent nude or suggestive photos of themselves to another party.
So how does the law deal with a minor who takes, distributes, or possesses nude photos of themself or another, or convinces another minor to take these types of photos of themselves?
Unfortunately, Michigan law has no specifications for minors who commit these acts. For example, if an 18 year old boy asks a 16 year old girl for nude photos and she send them to him, the boy could be charged with persuading the girl to make child pornography, in addition to possession of the photos. The girl could be charged with making and distributing child pornography – even though the photos are of her.
Additionally, because the distribution of these photos or messages can be done so quickly and easily, it could very well lead to harassment and bullying. So young people who share these types of photos could not only face consequences at school for bullying, but also face a harassment charge from law enforcement. In many cases, when photos are sent consensually, the sender claims they were harassed into sexting to avoid getting in trouble themselves when the pictures are discovered.