The Maryland Supreme Court ruled yesterday that a 16-year-old girl could be charged as her own pornographer—even if the sex act was consensual and the porn was self-produced.
The girl shared a video of herself performing a sex act on a 16-year-old girl and a 17-year-old boy. The video made its way around school and ultimately into the hands of the school resource officer who reported it and prosecutors charged the girl with production of child pornography.
The girl wasn’t incarcerated, but she was put on probation. She appealed her conviction… all the way to the Maryland Supreme Court, where the issue was, “Can a minor legally engaged in consensual sexual activity be his or her own pornographer through the act of sexting?”
The answer, unfortunately, is that under the current law, YES. The court found that state lawmakers did not include exceptions in the law for consensual sex or for self-produced child pornography.
The Court did suggest that the Maryland Legislature get with the times and reality of this not-so-infrequent situation, and carve out that exception.
We NEED to be educating children on the risks and dangers of current child pornography laws and we NEED to be educating the public that not all who are caught in this huge net are the same.
A copy of the decision follows.