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A 14-year-old female has been charged with possession and distribution of child pornography after posting nude pictures of herself on her MySpace profile.

The New Jersey teenager posted around thirty “explicit nude” pictures of herself online, according to reports. Investigators say she said she had uploaded them for her boyfriend.

As a result, she could now be looking at up to 17 years in prison and she may also have to register as a sex offender if convicted.

Legal experts told the Associated Press that this is the first case they’ve seen where photos from a social network are involved.  Many teens nowadays are “sexting” nude pictures of themselves via text message.

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The national sex offender registry was initiated as a result of Megan’s Law (see this post for tips on how to protect your kids).

In an ironic twist, however, Maureen Kanka (the woman whose daughter, Megan Kanka, was raped and killed by a sex offender in 1994, which was the catalyst for passing the law) has not necessarily been in favor of recent prosecuting of teenagers over racy photos of themselves.

Kanka says that this girl should only receive counseling rather than criminal action.

She says that “the only person she exploited was herself.”

I would tend to agree.  Save the registry for legitimate perverts who go hunting down children.  Teenagers who don’t know any better and who think they are just keeping their significant others happy should be cut some slack.

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