"The owner of a computer or cell phone containing pictures of nude or semi-nude minors can be investigated and prosecuted on felony child pornography charges," Abbott's office said in a press release. "Teenagers in possession of sexually suggestive images of classmates or companions under 18 could face up to 10 years in prison."
Abbott sites a survey by the National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy, which found that 22 percent of teens said they have sent or posted nude photos or videos of themselves. And 15 percent of those teens said they sent the photos to someone they had only met online.
Aside from the unfortunate prospect of jail time, Abbott warned teens that sexting can also be a major bummer socially. "Unintentional circulation of inappropriate images can lead to suspensions from school or athletic participation and cause embarrassment. Compromising photos can hinder teens’ attempts to get into college, receive scholarships or gain employment."
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Here's a Web site that shares helpful tips to prevent sexting. It starts with some pretty basic, common-sense advice: "Don't take or send nude or sexually suggestive photos of yourself or anyone else."
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