Sending or receiving a sexually suggestive image or text under the age of 18 is a crime and is considered child pornography and can result in criminal charges.
In a number of jurisdictions, criminal charges have already been brought to address this behavior.": Our youth across the nation, in Massachusetts and right here in Berkshire County are engaging in these risky behaviors which can pose great danger for themselves and others.
It is illegal for anyone to knowingly possess photographs (in any format) which depict a person under the age of 18 posed with a lewd exhibition of genitals, buttocks, breasts or engaged in an actual or simulated sexual acts.
Having lewd photographs of another person's exposed genitals, for example, whether it be a friend or stranger, who is under 18, on your cell phone or home computer, violates this statute.
Even without a criminal conviction, "sexting" may be addressed within the school, and could potentially result in suspension or expulsion.
Resources are available through this Office and other organizations to arm parents with information to protect their children and help prevent this behavior.
If we address these issues together, we can achieve the ultimate goals of keeping children safe and reducing their risk of exploitation both now and in the future.
Knowingly possessing it, even without sending it on to another person, is illegal.
It is illegal for anyone to knowingly send to any person under the age of 18 matter considered to be "harmful.