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Prosecutor sued for threatening charges in ‘sexting’ case


The American Civil Liberties Union sued a Pennsylvania prosecutor on March 25 over his threats to charge three teenage girls with child pornography for allowing themselves to be photographed partly clothed with cell-phone cameras, Reuters reports. The case involves the growing practice among teens of "sexting," a play on the term texting, in which nude or semi-nude photos are sent on cell phones or posted on the internet. The ACLU said Wyoming County District Attorney George Skumanick accused the girls of being accomplices to the production of child pornography because they allowed themselves to be photographed. Other unidentified people distributed the pictures. Pictures showing two of the girls wearing white bras, and another standing topless with a towel wrapped around her waist were discovered by school officials in October 2008, the ACLU said. The pictures did not show any sexual activity. The ACLU said Skumanick should not have threatened to file felony charges against the girls unless they agreed to be placed on probation and participate in a counseling program. "Kids should be taught that sharing digitized images of themselves in embarrassing or compromised positions can have bad consequences, but prosecutors should not be using heavy artillery … to teach them that lesson," said Witold Walczak, legal director for ACLU Pennsylvania…

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