When Jane Doe, a 14-year-old from Minnesota, sent a sexually explicit photo of herself to a boy she liked at her school, it’s unlikely she imagine what would happen next.
The Rice County prosecutor learned of what she had done, and wants to prosecute her for spreading child pornography.
If they find Jane Doe (as she is being referred to as in court documents) guilty, the girl would be forced to register as a sex offender for the next 10 years. In Minnesota, spreading content classified as child pornography is felony.
Doe sent the selfie to a boy in her school via Snapchat. He then shared the photo with other people without Doe’s consent. The young woman affirms that she is not a criminal.
“I’m not a criminal for sending a selfie,” she said. ” Sexting is a common practice among teenagers at my school, and we shouldn’t face charges for it. I do not want anyone else to experience what is happening to me. ”
The American Civil Liberties Union of Minnesota, an organization that is dedicated to protecting the civil liberties of the citizens of the state, supports Doe. Teresa Nelson, the legal director of the organization, affirms that it is illogical to think that a person who sends an explicit sexual photo of herself is sending child pornography.
“Laws on child pornography should protect minors from predators. Jane Doe is not a predator, ” Nelson said .
On the other hand, Doe’s lawyer, John Hamer, said the fact that the prosecutor had given the green light to the allegations was worrisome.
“Pursuing felony charges against victims will not deter teens from exploring their sexuality. It will, however, prevent victims facing exposure and bullying from coming forward,” Hamer predicted. “The message being sent to young women is that if this happens to you, it is more your fault than his.”