Parents, things have changed since you were in high school. With the explosion of smart phones and social media applications our children have become “sexualized”. Young girls and young boys are sending sexually explicit videos and pics to each other. What parents might not realize is that this is a crime. Do not assume that because your daughter is a good girl and “would never do something like that” it cannot happen. The sexually explicit photos are in fact “child pornography”. Sadly, some young girls, starved for attention, routinely send boys photos, and you would not believe how explicit they are. Boys will be boys and they will not only look at them, they will save them on their phone or computer and then sometimes share them with other guys.
As a sex crime lawyer, I see this every day. Teenage girls sometimes exchange pics with guys on the Internet. This can lead to something much worse. The Internet is a dangerous place and the guy your daughter thinks is her age, may not be. The pics can lead to them “hooking up” and you may wake up some day to find that your 13 or 14 year old daughter is having sex with an adult man. The other great danger for parents is the “hookup” sites for casual sex like “Tinder”. High School and college kids use this site for random sex encounters. I know you are saying, “not my daughter”, but you would be surprised how rampant it really is.
As a parent of a teenage boy, or college student the situation is just as bad. The reality is that the teenage girls lie about their age. Some even have phony identification. Some underage girls go to adult bars and clubs with phony identification. If your son has sex with a 14 or 15 year old fully mature looking girl, he may find himself arrested for sexual battery, and face becoming a registered sex offender for life, not to mention jail. Teenage girls are mentally and often physically, much more mature than teenage boys. With the makeup and suggestive clothing, a 15 year old girl can look, and act 20. They will come on to guys five and ten years their senior. For a young man, the sexual attraction may overcome common sense. Young men think with the wrong head. Make sure your son confirms age, and is really sure, before engaging in sex with any young girl or woman.
Pay close attention to what your kids do on the Internet. They may think it is an invasion of their privacy, but as a parent, keeping them out of trouble or keeping them from getting arrested is more important. Sit down and talk about this to your kids.
Getting arrested for sexual battery with a minor will turn your son’s life upside down. Getting convicted for a sex crime like child pornography will destroy his life. An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. If your son or daughter finds themselves in trouble, getting good representation is critical and getting it quickly even more critical