CNN is reporting that a 18 year old boy who sent a naked picture of his 16-year-old girlfriend to his friends after an argument is now on the sex offender's registry.
For the rest of his life, he'll be lumped with child rapists, molesters and the other icky people on the registry. His mistake was being young. His parents' mistake was buying him a cell phone with a camera. But this should not be a crime.
Teenagers do stupid shit. Sending a naked picture to a girlfriend or boyfriend, no matter how old you are, is one of the dumbest things someone can do. Naked pictures always come back to bite you, ever so toughly, in your naked ass.
Phillip Alpert found out the hard way. He had just turned 18 when he sent a naked photo of his 16-year-old girlfriend, a photo she had taken and sent him, to dozens of her friends and family after an argument. The high school sweethearts had been dating for almost 2½ years. "It was a stupid thing I did because I was upset and tired and it was the middle of the night and I was an immature kid," says Alpert.
Maybe the parents of the 16-year-old shouldn't have given her a phone with a camera on it either.
There have been cases where "sexting" got out of hand. For instance, an Ohio girl killed herself after nude pictures she sent to her boyfriend were passed around.
Last year, Jessica Logan, a Cincinnati, Ohio, teen, hanged herself after her nude photo, meant for her boyfriend, was sent to teenagers at several high schools. For months after, her father says, she was the subject of ridicule and taunts. "Everyone knew about that photo," Bert Logan says. "She could not live it down." On July 3, his wife found her. "She had been getting dressed to go out. The curling iron was still warm. It was so unexpected," Logan says. "I heard my wife scream, I ran up to Jessie's room, but it was too late."
No charges had been filed against Jessica's 19-year-old boyfriend, who disseminated the photo, nor had the school taken any action, Logan says. He says he and his wife want to warn parents and students of the dangers of sexting. The Logans are fighting to raise awareness nationally and to advocate for laws that address sexting and cyber-bullying.
At what point do parents take responsibility for teaching their kids what not to do? A teenager shouldn't send naked pictures. How many times have naked pictures hurt adults?
While many adult books tell women to send their man a sexy text during the day, those books aren't meant for kids. But there is no way one mistake should turn a boy into a registered sex offender.