2 teens charged in Standley Lake High sexting incident

9:34 PM, Apr 10, 2012   |    comments
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The teens, ages 16 and 17, are currently out on bond. The terms of their bond include banning the use and possession of all cellphones.

According to Jefferson County Schools, the older of the two boys used his cellphone to record two friends engaging in a sexual act in a car they were all in while returning to Westminster from a baseball game in Fort Collins on St. Patrick's Day. The charges show that teen then sent the video on to another 16-year-old boy, who then sent it on again.

"It is serious business when you send video of another individual's intimate parts especially when the individual is younger," 9NEWS Legal Analyst Scott Robinson said.

Robinson says when the video is of someone under the age of 18 it is considered child pornography.

Westminster Police do not know if the video is still in circulation. Investigators say children who still have this video on their phones and have sent it on could face similar charges.

One of the boys is charged with making the video and sharing it with others. The 16-year-old boy is charged with one count for possessing the video and sharing it with others.

The charges are third-degree felonies. Penalties for juveniles are different from adults. Adults convicted of a third-degree felony could face decades in prison. Juveniles could face anything from a differed sentence to a maximum sentence of two years in juvenile detention. Both could have to register as sex offenders.

"I think most children don't think about what's going to happen next after [they] send that photo. They're just thinking here and now," Det. Christine Brite said.

Brite specializes in child pornography cases for the Douglas County Sheriff's Department.

Brite says her department investigated 89 sexting cases in Douglas County in 2011. She says that's a small number and that there are likely thousands of instances of sexting in Colorado each year.

"If someone under the age of 18 took a photo of themselves and they were posting it on a website or sending it to someone else on a text message, they are in possession of their own child pornography, which is also a felony," Brite said.

"The way you spell 'sexting' is S-T-U-P-I-D. There is nothing dumber than engaging in sexting behavior. It doesn't make you more attractive to the other gender and it can land you in big, big trouble," Robinson said. "Unfortunately, the consequences for individuals who commit crimes while sexting, they may be insurmountable even for a young person."

The Westminster Police detective who was working the sexting investigation is no longer employed by the city. Authorities say he resigned and would not provide any other details, saying it is a personnel matter.

(KUSA-TV © 2012 Multimedia Holdings Corporation)

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