The Dangers of Minors and Sexting

Last summer, the Maryland Court of Appeals—the state’s highest court—decided that the state’s child pornography statute applies to a 16-year-old girl who texted a one-minute video of herself to her teenage best friends. In the video, she is seen performing a consensual sex act.

In his opinion, Judge Joseph M. Getty said that the court had to contend with this question: “Can a minor legally engaged in consensual sexual activity be his or her own pornographer through the act of sexting?”

In a 6–1 ruling, the judges decided that the answer was yes, despite considering the “complexities of the sociocultural phenomenon of sexting by minors.”

This is disturbing firstly, because a minor was engaged in this behavior, and secondly because, although she participated consensually, is now a child pornographer at the age of 16.

In re: S.K., 215 A.3d 300 (Md. 2019)