Criminal Justice

Child porn charges reinstated against teen who posted sex video on Facebook

The Pennsylvania Supreme Court has reinstated child pornography charges against a teenager who posted a sex video of two other teens on Facebook.

The Morning Call reports on the per curiam decision (PDF) issued Thursday. The video, posted by a teen girl referred to as C.S., showed two other teens engaged in a sex act, according to the newspaper account. The teens, a 16-year-old girl and 17-year-old boy, created the video voluntarily, and the boy shared it with C.S., according to court papers cited by the newspaper.

A Lehigh County judge had dismissed the child porn charges in a 2012 opinion, saying the state’s child porn law was unconstitutional as applied to C.S. because it “fails to provide a teenager of ordinary intelligence ‘fair notice’ of what is prohibited,” the Morning Call says. But the Pennsylvania Supreme Court said the judge should not have dismissed the case based on an issue that was not raised by defense lawyers.

C.S. has waived the constitutional issue and cannot raise it on remand or appeal, the state supreme court said.

C.S. was the only youth charged, though the boy who gave her the video shared it with several youths and posted it on the Internet, court papers say. According to the Morning Call, the case “raises new questions about where poor judgment by sexting teens ends and criminal exploitation by child pornographers begins.”

Hat tip to How Appealing.

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