Kansas City Criminal Defense Lawyers
Can Teens Be Charged With Child Pornography?

Can Teens Be Charged With Child Pornography?

Being accused of downloading, creating, or distributing child pornography is one of the most serious criminal charges to face. You may be wondering, how does this work if there are teenagers involved? Almost all high school students, and even middle schoolers, have smartphones with them at all times. If teenagers share nude photos, is it a criminal offense?

Teenage Sexting

Sexting is defined as sending sexually explicit messages or images to another person. You may be surprised to learn how many teenagers do this. 24% of teenagers ages 14-17 report they have participated in nude sexting.
Other sexting statistics include:

  • 17% of sexters share the explicit content they are sent with other people
  • Sending nude photos is more common among girls
  • 61% of teenage sexters admit they were pressured to do it at least once
  • 70% of sexting happens between people who are in a relationship

Child Pornography Laws

You may face charges for child pornography if you:

  • Persuade or coerce a minor to engage in sexual conduct on camera
  • Possess pornographic materials depicting minors in compromising situations meant for sexual gratification
  • Allow your child to engage in child pornography
  • Promote child pornography by selling, distributing, or publishing the content

The laws do not state any age exemptions for teenagers. Therefore, a teenager can be charged with child pornography, even if they are minors themselves. There are also no exemptions for teenagers in relationships. Anyone who has sexually explicit content of a minor can face criminal charges.

It is also important to note that even though the age of consent in Kansas is 16, child pornography involves anyone under 18 years old.

Potential Penalties

Teenagers can face serious criminal penalties for child pornography offenses. Most first-time convictions have mandatory minimum sentences.

If found guilty of producing child pornography, you would be sentenced to 15 years in prison.
If found guilty of distributing, receiving, or possessing child pornography, you would be sentenced to 5 years in prison.

Another significant consequence of being convicted of a sex crime is the sex offender registration requirement. While not all states require teenagers to register as sex offenders, Kansas does. If found guilty of a sex offense, teenagers must be registered as sex offenders until they are 18 years old or until 5 years have passed since they were adjudicated guilty.

Sex Crimes Defense Attorneys

Teenagers are unable to evaluate risk in the same way that adults do. Because of this, they often find themselves in trouble because they didn’t consider the consequences of their actions. This is especially true online, where everything feels more private than it is. If your teenager is facing criminal charges for child pornography, contact Stein Law, LLC today. Our team wants to help fight for your child’s future.


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