We’ve been looking in recent posts on this blog at the issue of sexting, and the consequences minors can face for becoming involved in this activity. As we mentioned last time, sexting can result in serious charges on its own, but charges can really become serious when minors are depicted engaging in sex acts.
Across the country and here in Florida, minors have been charged with child pornography offenses. These charges can have serious consequences for those who face them, minor or adult. One recent high-profile case that made the news was the case of Austin Jones, a YouTube star from Chicago accused of encouraging young female fans to send him multiple videos depicting sexually explicit activity.
The 24-year-old has been charged with two counts of producing child pornography, and could face 15 years in prison if convicted. The fans who send the videos were reportedly around 14 years of age. Because Jones is an adult, he doesn’t have the benefit of taking advantage of the leniency of the juvenile system. As an adult, he faces the full force of the criminal system. In a future post, we’ll say more about the importance of juveniles working with skilled legal counsel to represent them in the juvenile system.
It remains to be seen what plea he will enter in response to the charges. His attorney, though, has emphasized that he is innocent until proven guilty. In any case involving alleged child pornography, it is critical for defendants to work with an experienced attorney to hold the government to its full burden of proof and to do everything possible to reach a favorable resolution to the case.
Source: wishtv.com, “Florida middle school students facing felony child pornography charges,” May 27, 2017.