Kershaw County deputies say they are working several cases of child pornography being generated and distributed by underage teens in Kershaw County.
Specifically, deputies say underage girls at Kershaw County schools are taking nude and graphic pictures of themselves and sharing them through various social media sites, or sexting them, to boyfriends or other male friends. The young men are then forwarding these pictures to their buddies, according to deputies. Worse, deputies say that some of these very graphic photos have found way on to adult hard core porn sites.
Deputies say some of the girls are then embarrassed and their parents want action taken against the boys who share the photos. The problem is, according to officers, it is the young girls themselves who are creating and distributing child pornography as defined by law.
Following the letter of the law, deputies say the underage girl taking the obscene photo(s) of herself and the boys who transmit and/or possess the photo(s) are in violation of child pornography laws. Technically, they could all be arrested and, if found guilty, would all have the dubious distinction of being classified as sex offenders for the rest of their lives, according to investigators.
Kershaw County sheriff Jim Matthews says this is not their preferred solution to the problem at this time. So, deputies are warning those involved, as well as parents of both underage girls and boys.
Specifically, deputies are urging parents of underage girls to have frank discussions with them about the possible ramifications of sexting. Investigators say girls should be prepared for any such photos they share to be shared with others, especially after a break up.
Deputies are also suggesting that parents of underage boys check their phones periodically for any pornographic pictures. Should a parent find those images, deputies suggest parents delete them, punish the child and explain to them the very harsh reality of being classified as a sex offender.
Last month, Kershaw County deputies warned of an uptick in sexual assaults of children, saying incidents involved a teenage or older male and little girls under the age of 10. Deputies say child pornography is a common denominator in those cases, warning that having a computer or even a smart phone gives teenagers complete access to any kind porn imaginable.