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Sexting and the impacts on young people

Australian law anyone permits anyone over the age of sixteen permitted to have sexual intercourse. Should they, therefore, have the right to take nude photos and send them to each other? This is where things get a bit more complex.

According to Commonwealth legislation relating to child pornography, anyone under the age of 18 is a child. According to these laws any photo or video portraying scenes of a sexual, which has as its subject a person who is under eighteen, is child pornography.

Photos falling into this category include pictures portraying nudity. They do not have to include sexual intercourse in the pictures to get the senders into trouble.

This means that the law may consider you old enough to have sex, but if you are under 18 you could find yourself in serious trouble if you are caught sexting.

If we take an example of an 18-year-old asking his 16-year-old girlfriend to send him a nude photo of herself and she sends it. They have committed a number of crimes

  • By taking the photograph the girl is producing child pornography
  • By sending the images she is circulating child pornography
  • By asking for the photographs, the boy is the cause of the child pornography
  • When he views the photos, he is accessing child pornography
  • If he fails to delete the photo, he is also in possession of child pornography.

We refer to these offences as Using a Carriage Service for Child Pornography Material or Possessing, Controlling, Producing, Supplying or Obtaining Child Pornography Material for Use through a Carriage Service. Every one of these offences carries a maximum sentence of fifteen years.

Being found guilty of such an offence could have devastating consequences for the young people involved. It is essential that young people are aware that there are consequences to sexting on social media. You cannot remove regrettable information and images from the Internet once it is out there. Neither can you clear your name if you have a child sexual offence conviction.

Disclaimer : This article is just a summary of the subject matter being discussed and should not be regarded as a comprehensive legal advice for you to defend yourself alone. If you are charged with criminal offences, it is recommended that you seek legal assistance from criminal lawyers.

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