Sexting Crimes Increasing Among Lonoke County Youth

- LONOKE COUNTY, AR -- The days of passing a note to the boy or girl you like in school seem to be gone.

Now, a teenage flirting trend called sexting, or sending nude photos, is much more common.

Lonoke County Sheriff's Office detectives say in the past two years, they're sexting case loads doubled, and they say the victims are getting younger and younger.

That's why detectives say it's important to go inside the schools and talk to students letting them know, at their age, sexting is illegal.

Detective Edwards said, "If they are taking pictures of themselves, under the age of 18, that is creating child pornography."

The Lonoke County Sheriff's Office teamed up with the Wade Knox Children's Advocacy Center to go inside all county schools and talk to kids about sexting, letting them know if caught they could be charged as adults for creating or distributing child pornography.

Detective Edwards said, "They could be labeled or have to register as a sex offender."

Sharon Rudder, with the Wade Knox Child Advocacy Center, said, "The decisions they're making today are decisions that can affect them for the rest of their life."

Along with the threat of up to ten years behind bars, detectives remind kids that photos could come back to haunt them in other ways.

Detective Edwards said, "I mean, it's out there."

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