The world of social media can often seem unreal. You never really know who you're communicating with, and some online flirtation can seem harmless. Phone apps like Snapchat can seem “safe” because videos and photos disappear quickly. But really, nothing you say or do online is safe from discovery, and sometimes, knowingly communicating with children under 18 can cross the line into illegal activity. If you're facing charges related to communicating with minors online, the Criminal Defense Team at the Lento Law Firm can help. Call them at 888-535-3686 to schedule a consultation.
Northumberland County Man Arrested for Snapchat Nudes
A good example of crossing the line on Snapchat comes from Northumberland County, where police arrested a 32-year-old man on felony child pornography and misdemeanor corruption of minors charges. When an investigation led to a warrant for his phone, police discovered nude photographs of a minor in October 2022. Evidence uncovered indicated the man knew the child was a minor and that he'd had sexual intercourse with her. He also engaged in an online “relationship” with several minor girls, lying about his age. The man also faces charges for felony involuntary deviant sexual intercourse, aggravated indecent assault without consent, aggravated indecent assault forcible compulsion, misdemeanors of indecent assault, and summary harassment related to other incidents.
Felony Child Pornography
In Pennsylvania, you could face child pornography charges for intentionally viewing or possessing any material depicting a child under 18 engaging in a sexual or simulated sexual act. Distributing or sharing these is also illegal. If someone sends you a nude on Snapchat, you take a screenshot and then text it to a friend, you can face felony charges. It doesn't matter if you have a good faith belief that the child was 18 or older. If they are under 18 or you believed they were, you could face felony child porn charges in Pennsylvania. If convicted, you could face five to ten years in prison, depending on whether it's a first offense.
Corruption of Minors
While it can seem obvious that an adult shouldn't ask for or accept nude photographs from a minor under any circumstances, sometimes communicating online with a minor can also be inappropriate or illegal. Under Pennsylvania law, if an adult “by any act corrupts … the morals of any minor … or who aids, abets, entices or encourages” a minor to commit a crime, they can face a first-degree misdemeanor. This could include asking a teen to send inappropriate or nude photos, encouraging a teen to drink or engage in other illegal behavior, and more. For a charge relating to sexual offenses, corruption of minors is a third-degree felony. A conviction can land you on the sex offenders registry, resulting in up to seven years in prison.
You Need an Experienced Pennsylvania Criminal Defense Team
If you're facing child pornography, corruption of minors, or other online charges related to social media in Pennsylvania, it's a serious matter. You need a skilled attorney with experience handling felony criminal charges. The skilled Criminal Defense Team at the Lento Law Firm has been protecting the rights of Pennsylvanians facing criminal charges for years, and they can help you, too. Call the Lento Law Firm today at 888-535-3686 or contact them online to schedule your consultation.