Prosecutors will not use explicit photos in teen sexting case - FOX 35 News Orlando

Prosecutors will not use explicit photos in teen sexting case

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MANASSAS, Va. -

Prosecutors in Manassas have backed off plans to use explicit photos of a 17-year-old in a sexting case. They had hoped to use the photos as proof the teenager sent a video of his genitalia to a 15-year-old girl.

Neither side is revealing what led to the decision to back off using the photos or taking additional photos of the young man. But we have learned it was negotiated by the prosecution and the defense Monday night and taken to a juvenile court judge Tuesday morning.

The search warrant requesting photos of the teen’s erect penis will expire on Thursday and the defense does not expect another warrant.

The case against this young man began back in January when the mother of the 15-year-old girl went to Manassas City police to complain that the 17-year-old had sent an explicit video to her daughter.

In a search warrant filed with the court, the mother told police she had "spoke with the suspect and her own daughter and they admitted their involvement.”

From there, police moved forward serving two additional warrants asking for photos of the young man’s genitalia as well as the clothing and jewelry he was wearing in the video sent to the girl, including but not limited to red shorts, red pants, white sweatshirt and a yellow bracelet.

The teen was then charged with two felony counts of the manufacture of child pornography.

"I think it all stems from the law except there is no law pertaining to sexting," said defense attorney Jessica Foster. "This child pornography statute, it’s a statute from 1979, so it really hasn't caught up with technology and that’s really where the problem stems from and there are several jurisdictions that prosecute these sexting cases under that statute. In my opinion, it’s too harsh.”

The controversy swirled around the plan by police to take the 17-year-old to a hospital and give him an injection to recreate what his genitalia would have looked like in the video allegedly sent to the 15-year-old girl.

"Right now, we have a trial date scheduled for August 1st and we're working with the prosecutors to hopefully resolve the case in a favorable manner,” Foster said.

If convicted in juvenile court, the 17-year-old could be locked up until he is 21 and may have to register as a sex offender.

In attempting to explain its reasoning for taking photos of the teen, Manassas City police said in a statement the 17-year-old allegedly sent pornographic videos after being repeatedly told to stop. Investigators have not explained the reason behind the decision to now back off.


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