Retired Federal Judge H. Lee Sarokin has a post on today’s Huffington Post about sexting and how criminal laws have failed to keep up with technology and modern attitudes about sex. In his article Judge Sarokin argues:
The differences between today and yesterday are technology and a totally different attitude toward sex. The single faded, black-and-white photo that teenagers huddled around has been replaced by a thousand copies in color made and distributed by cellphones, and nudity no longer provokes gasps. As a parent, I can certainly understand being upset by having your child voluntarily publicize his or her own nude photo. It could be described as foolish and may turn out to be embarrassing, but looking at it, sharing it or possessing it is neither a scandal nor a crime. We allow our children to watch hours of murders, stabbings, shootings, fighting and endless violence on TV or video games, but for some strange reason nudity is the line in the sand. Let’s not criminalize teenagers for being teenagers, and let’s not impose parenting responsibilities on schools.
I could not agree more. The malicious distribution of images or the dissemination of a secret recording of sex acts is and should be a crime. Teenagers acting like teenagers should not be criminal. No one should have to register as a sex offender, potentially for the rest of their lives, for acting like an idiot when they were 17 or 18 years old.