In Indiana, it's legal for adults to have consensual sex with minors aged 16 and 17. But it's illegal to sext those same minors, the Indiana Supreme Court ruled this week. The decision reinstated sexting charges against an adult who texted nude images of himself to a girl he knew was 16.
The state's highest court, ruling 5-0, noted that the charges against 40-year-old defendant Sameer Thakar, a high school instructor who has been faraway from his publish, are "inconsistent" when balanced towards the state's legal guidelines on consensual sex. However state lawmakers, and never the Supreme Courtroom, can rectify that in the event that they need to, the courtroom dominated.
"The Dissemination Statute clearly protects minors underneath the age of 18 from the dissemination of matter harmful to them," Justice Mark S. Massa wrote (PDF). "Whether this inconsistent statutory remedy of minors aged 16 and 17 is advisable with respect to sexually-related activity is a matter for the legislature, and whether Thakar’s alleged conduct violated the Dissemination Statute is a matter for the jury."
A decrease courtroom had tossed the fees last yr because Indiana's regulation allowed minors as younger as 16 to consent to have sexual relations. Thakar did not have intercourse with the woman, who was in Oregon. The defendant, who faces a most of three years in jail if convicted, argued that it was "patently illogical" to hold someone criminally responsible for sending nude footage to a minor—yet it's legal to show themselves to minors in individual.
The Indiana ruling is amongst a string of instances through which sexting laws are clearly nonsensical. Final month, for instance, the Washington Supreme Courtroom upheld the conviction beneath state youngster porn legal guidelines of a 17-year-old boy who despatched a picture of his own erect penis to a 22-year-old lady. The case illustrates a bizarre situation through which the juvenile defendant was each the perpetrator of transmitting youngster porn and the sufferer of it.
Last yr, we reported on a similar case out of Texas, where it's authorized to have sex with any person as younger as 17 years previous. However it's thought-about baby pornography to have nude footage of any person beneath 18, even when she or he is 17 and is identical individual you had intercourse with.
Then there was the 2015 case of two North Carolina teenagers charged with baby porn accusations for consensually sexting each other. One of many teenagers was accused of possessing baby pornography as a result of he had nude pictures of himself on his telephone. The arrest warrant for the boy's girlfriend described her as both a victim and a perpetrator.