‘The problem is young people don’t know it’s a crime’
A JUDGE has expressed her dismay that Queensland's youth don't seem to be getting the message that sexting is a crime.
"The problem with it is that young people don't know it's a criminal offence," Judge Julie Dick told Brisbane District Court on Friday.
Judge Dick made the comments at the sentence of Curtis Shane Jefferies, who was 19 when he sent a photo of his penis to a 15-year-old girl after she sent him an image of her breasts.
"I have a very clear view that young people don't understand that they're committing a criminal offence when they exchange those photographs," Judge Dick said.
"Not just sending the photograph but they are also then, if the child is 15 or 16, in possession of child exploitation material, which is also treated harshly by the law."
Laws dictate that it is illegal to create, send or possess sexualised images of people under the age of 18 and those caught could face possessing and distributing child exploitation material charges.
Jefferies, now 21, pleaded guilty to indecent treatment of a minor, supplying alcohol to minors and a number of sexual assault charges, which arose from two separate occasions where his 16-year-old girlfriend woke to find him touching her on the vagina over her pyjamas.
Judge Dick said while Jefferies had clearly affected the young woman's life, he was a first-time offender who had stopped when asked.
"He obviously ... needs some help with his boundaries but I see it more as experimenting than predatory," she said.
Jefferies was given two years on probation and no conviction was recorded. - NewsRegional
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