This is a national article, but I can tell you as the Memphis Sex Crime Attorney that Teen Sexting in Tennessee can land you in prison and on the Sex Offender Registry for the rest of your life.
The Atlantic magazine has an interesting article into the rise of teen sexting An inquiry into one recent scandal reveals how kids think about sexting — and what parents and police should do about it.
This anecdote addresses the overwhelming prevalence of teen sexting: “After just a couple of days, the deputies had filled multiple evidence bins with phones, and they couldn’t see an end to it. Fears of a cabal got replaced by a more mundane concern: what to do with “hundreds of damned phones. I told the deputies, ‘We got to draw the line somewhere or we’re going to end up talking to every teenager in the damned county!’”
In this case, the prosecutors recognized that applying the law and making each of these youth a sex offender would be an inappropriate response. Also, because many of the teens had taken photos of themselves and proudly texted them to others, it was difficult to see them as victims in the way the statute imagines them to be.
As the Tennessee statute is currently written, a child taking a photo of himself or herself and sending it to a boyfriend or girlfriend is creating and distributing child pornography. If this case had occurred in Tennessee, these youth could receive up to twelve years in prison at 100%, be included on the sexual offender registry, and be on community supervision for life. We can only hope that law enforcement would also question the vague and overly broad statutes here also.
Here is the article: Why Kids Sext