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“The question is how to address it.” Sex, phones, and the law “There’s a scale or gradation, and on one end there’s a boyfriend or girlfriend sending a picture,” said Lunsford.
So called “sexting” has become a frequent enough occurrence among local teens that area lawmakers, educators, and police are joining forces to figure out how to better address the issue.
Regardless of the age of the sender or recipient, the transmission of sexual images of a minor can come with heavy legal consequences for both parties.
“This is a really serious offense,” said Albemarle County Commonwealth’s Attorney Denise Lunsford, who noted that the same laws written to protect children from predators can be used against them.
In the wake of other recent teen disappearances—Alexis Murphy, Samantha Clarke, and Dashad “Sage” Smith—and with the unsolved slaying of Morgan Harrington looming large in local memory, the fear was understandable.
But by the following morning, the teen was home safe, and the October 23 arrest of a 24-year-old Norfolk man turned the focus to another issue, one that’s snaring teens across the country in a web of laws that lag behind the culture of technology: sexting.