The juvenile petition filed by Trooper Mostyn alleges that in June 2007, the juvenile was communicating over the internet with a 27 year old male. Communication was occurring on the juvenile’s “My Space” page. While having online contact with the adult male, the juvenile took nude digital pictures of herself and transmitted the nude photos to the male. During investigation of the incident, state police were able to recover the nude images of the juvenile from the adult male’s home computer. Ultimately, the juvenile and adult male engaged in unlawful sexual activity. Shaw reports that the adult male has been charged for his criminal conduct.

Shaw stated that it is with increased frequency that children are using modern technology to take nude and provocative self photos and transmit those photos to others. Sending naked pictures of yourself using text messages or the internet has become an epidemic. Children are engaging in this type of behavior at an alarming and unacceptable pace.

When a child sends a nude self photograph to others, a dangerous situation is instantly created, Shaw said. Many pedophiles surf the internet to pray upon young children. When children display their nude photographs, they are exposing themselves to potential victimization.

Shaw stated that parents who give their child the use of cell phones have the responsibility to monitor their child’s behavior the same as if the parent gives the child permission to use the family car. For example, Shaw explained that when a child uses the family car and drives while under the influence of alcohol, that child is held responsible for that conduct. Similarly, when a child is given parental permission to use the family computer or cell phone and uses that technology to take nude self images, that child must be held responsible.

Shaw stated that he is unwilling to accept this type of behavior as simple youthful indiscretions. The potential danger to children from this type of activity requires that law enforcement not turn the cheek on this type of behavior. Instead, it is far more important to identify the child, stop the behavior, and provide the child and family with appropriate counseling services to protect the child from victimization.

Shaw encourages parents to closely monitor their children who use cell phones, home computers, and the internet. The safety of children is at issue and parents must be active in monitoring their child’s activities.

(A person charged with a crime is presumed innocent until proven guilty.)


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