report crime onlineSexting Information

To schedule a speaker, please email Sgt. Jesse Hambrick or call him at (770) 577-5106.

There are many questions that are asked by parents, teachers and students about sexting. What is sexting? Is sexting illegal? Are people really sexting that much? What should I tell me children about sexting? At what age should I get my child a cell phone? Some of these questions have answers that can be found in Georgia state law and others can't as easily be answered.

There are many online definitions of sexting. Generally sexting is defined as, "The sending of sexually explicit texts or pictures either by phone or over the computer," That means sexting can include sexually explicit written words sent by email or text message as well as sending sexually explicit pictures by email or text message. For adults, sexting can raise many moral issues, but sexting involving youth can mean criminal charges in many circumstances.

The law has many different laws that can be violated if someone "sexts" with a minor or child. These laws include child molestation, contributing to the delinquency of a minor, as well as sending or possessing child pornography. Many of these laws are specific to what type of message is sent and what is the age of the person sending or receiving these messages. It is easiest to say that to avoid criminal prosecution, no one should send/receive or text anything of a sexual nature to anyone under the age of 18. Remember this includes written words or pictures that involve any description of or pictures of anything of a sexual nature. Examples of things of a sexual nature might include nude or partially nude pictures as well as written words that describe a sexual act.

Sexting is becoming more and more of a common occurrence and national attention has been brought to the problem as more and more public figures are involved in sexting incidents. There are many statistics out there, but it would be fair to say that 20% of students in high school have either been a part of, or know a friend that has been involved in sexting. Providing your child a phone and then not monitoring what they send and receive on that phone could make for a problem down the road. Parents are advised that they should monitor their child's phone activity at all times and should contact law enforcement if there is a concern that their child has received or send something sexually explicit. The ultimate goal of law enforcement is to make sure that your child's image does not end up on the internet or in the hands of a sexual predator.

If you or your child receives anything that is questionable, it is important that you contact law enforcement and turn the text or picture over to them immediately. DO NOT DELETE any images that you have received. It is important that these images are preserved so that they can be tracked, documented and deleted properly. If you have any further questions please contact the Sheriff's Office.

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Douglas County Sheriff's Office
8470 Earl D. Lee Blvd. • Douglasville, GA 30134
Phone: (770) 942-2121
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