Article Source: CBS News
(AP/CBS) More Youngsters Are Transmitting Racy Photos Of Themselves Via Cell Phones And The Web, Running Afoul Of Child Porn Laws
When celebrity teenager Vanessa Hudgens took some racy photos with her cell phone and sent them to a boyfriend, the star of the "High School Musical" films never expected them to show up on the Internet.
For her the result was embarrassment and fodder for gossip columnists and blogs.
But legally, sexually explicit pictures of minors can be classified as child pornography.
And "sexting" among everyday teens can mean big trouble …
"My life's been, it's just so different, I can even say upside down," said Orlando teenager Phillip Alpert. "It's just so far out there, something I never expected."
For Alpert it all started when he was a senior in high school. He had a girlfriend for a couple of years who sent him some pictures of herself.
"She was not wearing clothes in the pictures," he told Braver.
"And then you two started not getting along so well?" she asked.
"Yeah," Alpert said. "It was a few months after that, that basically things just kind of fell apart with the two of us."
"What'd you do?"
"I took the pictures she had sent me, and like at 3:30 in the night, I just hit the select button for contacts, and I just hit 'send,' and I went back to bed."
It was a few days after his 18th birthday, so legally Albert was an adult. Three days later, the police came to his home:
"They arrested me," he told Braver "They wanted to charge with, I think, like 76 counts of sending child pornography, which just means jail or prison for the rest of my life, or I could plead to five years probation, which can't be cut short - no contact with the victim or her parents, no Internet."
But what Phillip Alpert did NOT realize is that he would also be listed on Florida's Registry of Sexual Offenders, now and for 20 years AFTER his probation ends...