US teen prosecuted for nude images of self on mobile phone

  • HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times, New Delhi
  • Updated: Sep 21, 2015 13:40 IST

A teenage boy in the US has been prosecuted as an adult under child pornography laws for having naked photos of himself on his mobile phone.

Cormega Zyon Copening, 17, of North Carolina faced charges of sexual exploitation of a minor – the minor being himself – after the photos were found on his phone, media reports said.

The high school athlete was 16 when authorities discovered he and his girlfriend, also 16, had consensually shared explicit photos with each other, but no one else, Sky News reported.

Copening was charged in February under federal child pornography felony laws with four counts of making and possessing images of himself and one count of possessing a naked image of his girlfriend.

The age of consent for sexual intercourse in North Carolina is 16, but state officials said it is illegal for anyone under 18 to send or receive sexually explicit photos with a mobile phone.

Copening struck a plea deal to avoid a possible jail term and being registered as a sex offender. He agreed to two misdemeanour counts of disseminating harmful material to minors. He will be subject to warrantless searches by law enforcement agencies for a year and other penalties.

His girlfriend Brianna Denson agreed to a plea deal on similar charges.

Copening and Denson were arrested while officials were probing a wider problem of sexting in high schools.

Computer security and privacy experts described the case as ludicrous and a case of “overreach”.

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