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Three Virginia teens face child porn charges in “sexting” trial

On Thursday, three northern Virginia teen boys will head to trial to face child pornography charges stemming from sexting-style videos made on their cellphones. If found guilty, each faces up to 20 years in prison and the sex offender label.
Fairfax County Commonwealth’s attorney Ray Morrogh told the Washington Post that there needs to be a balance in these situations between labeling teens with sex charges and considering the impact on victims of the distributed image.

“We try to resolve these cases wherever possible without going to the courts,” Morrogh said. “At the juvenile level, the goal is to rehabilitate the child.”
This case appears to be particularly egregious, though. The teens allegedly surreptitiously filmed themselves in sex acts with at least six teenage girls across 10 videos shot in December 2011.
Virginia (like other states) has previously attempted to adjust its law to create a lesser criminal standard for sexting-related crimes, but the bill died in the state legislature.
“Every time we try to write a carve-out for this specific situation, we just give the true sex predator a road map on how to commit a crime,” said Delegate David B. Albo (R-Fairfax), in an interview with the Post. “You cannot make a mistake when you are drafting this type of bill. The stakes are too high.”
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