When Sexting Goes Wrong, You Go to Jail

Oct 22, 2012

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Craig Evans, 24-year-old swim coach, recently went to jail because of a slip of the finger. He was sexting a lover when his finger slipped and he accidentally sent his racy message to his entire contacts list, including his family and, unfortunately, two teenage girls, aged 13 and 14.

Because these two teens received this inappropriate message, Evans was arrested and charged with “causing or inciting a child to engage in sexual activity.” He was sentenced to eighteen months in jail in July, but his lawyers appealed and last week the judge ruled that he be released, saying that Evans had been “evidently misguided” in sexting his entire contacts list.

This case is an unusual one, but it's a good illustration of why sexting, the sending of sexually-explicit messages and photos via text message, is a bad idea. Anyone could accidentally send such a text to the wrong person. Or worse, they could send it to the right person, but that person could then send it on to the wrong person or upload it on the Internet for everyone to see.

Once a text is sent, it's out of your hands. You have no control over where it goes, or who sees it. And if you're a minor, the very act of sexting itself in many states is considered creating child pornography, which could also land you in jail, even if the image sent is of yourself.

Parents should talk to their teens about sexting, and discuss the consequences clearly. Sexting may seem harmless, but the chances of it going wrong exist. You could end up in jail like Craig Evans.

I work for ContentWatch and all opinions expressed here are my own.