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A 14-year-old New Jersey girl is facing up to 17 years in prison for posting nude photos of herself to MySpace.
According to a report from the Associated Press, a 14-year old girl posted 30 “explicit nude” photos of herself to her MySpace account for her boyfriend to see. It is unclear how the Clifton, NJ police were alerted to the situation, but they were, and the girl has now been arrested on charges of possession of child pornography and distribution of child pornography. If convicted, she faces up to 17 years in prison and having to register as a sex offender.
However, not everyone is in favor of such crimes being punished. Maureen Kanka, mother of Megan Kanka for whom “Megan’s Law” is named, has taken the authorities to task for charging the girl. “This shouldn’t fall under Megan’s Law in any way, shape or form,” said Mrs. Kanka. She went on to say, “she should have an intervention and counseling, because the only person she exploited was herself.”
This has become an alarming trend where teens feel there is nothing wrong with sending sexual images of themselves to one another. I wrote about a while back about a 15-year-old girl in a similar situation for “sexting” photos of herself to classmates. She was also failing possible jail time and registering as a sex offender, but I think Mrs. Kanka has it right, these kids need counseling, not having their lives destroyed. They are not exploiting any one else, and they aren’t harming anyone else, so really what is the point of making their lives a living hell for what is essentially a youtful indiscretion?
Wouldn’t society be better served by educating these kids about what they were doing is wrong? What if this is a sign of a possibly deeper problem than just stupidity? Will doing 17 years in prison really serve this girl any good? All because she took some sexual photos of herself. It makes no sense, and the authorities involved aren’t doing themselves any good either, it just makes me resent them.
Yes, children should be protected from sex offenders at all costs, but when the sex offender is yourself? Well, there has to be some exceptions drawn somewhere to every rule, and I think this is one of those times.