Smartphones have changed the way people in Minnesota interact with the world, and some would argue that the transformation has not been completely positive. Regardless of public opinion, the technology is in the hands of most people, including teenagers. MPR News reports that parents are now being warned that their teens may be using their phones to send and receive nude photos of themselves.
When a minor sends a nude photograph through text, there is no guarantee that the picture will remain private. However, having it posted online is not necessarily the only threat the sender encounters. In addition to the potential social and psychological problems that may develop as a result of sharing the photo, teens may also be guilty of violating Minnesota child pornography laws.
In some states, legislators have addressed teen sexting through statutes specific to the behavior and consequences tailored to these situations. Unfortunately, although a minor in Florida may not necessarily be charged with child pornography for taking a nude photo and sending it to a girlfriend or boyfriend, the same activity could result in a sex crime conviction in Minnesota.
Minnesota statute 617.246 states that taking a picture of a person who is under 18 years of age portraying him or her in a way that shows or implies sexual conduct is a felony. The penalties for the first offense these actions may include a fine of up to $20,000 or a prison sentence of up to 10 years. Sending the picture and receiving it are both also against the law.