The article excerpt below notes that a Federal judge has blocked a Pennsylvania prosecutor from filing child pornography charges against three teenage girls that sexted. It's worthwhile to note that child pornography and child protection laws (such as Megan's Law) were created in the days before sexting. Law enforcement officials and prosecutors are stepping up to stem the tide of sexting, but are applying these laws to sexting teens in ways that were never imagined when the laws were drafted. As noted in previous posts on this subject, a debate has emerged over whether these laws should be applied to cases of sexting. The debate is necessary, and perhaps in time, new laws will be enacted that apply directly to sexting that include appropriate punishments instead of felony charges and stigmas of teens becoming registered sexual offenders.
A U.S. judge on Monday barred a Pennsylvania prosecutor from filing child pornography charges against three teenage girls caught with sexually suggestive pictures of themselves on their cell phones.
U.S. District Judge James Munley said he was issuing a restraining order on Wyoming County District Attorney George Skumanick because his proposed action would violate freedom of speech and parental rights.
"The court agrees with the plaintiffs that the public interest would be served by issuing a TRO (temporary restraining order) in this matter as the public interest is on the side of protecting constitutional rights," the judge said.
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