Sexting can get you a “Go to Jail Card”
It all started innocently and ramped up to a potential “Go to jail card.”
Tommy and Susie, single and 40-something, met on line at a site called, “Second Life” Touted as a free 3-D virtual world where people can socialize, connect and meet.
It started slowly: The two met to talk, flirt, fly and frolic in a parallel universe. What is Second Life? It’s a game, it’s a dating site, and it’s bizarro world – where thousands flock every day for myriad purposes. It is the virtual world where you can throw off the shackles of reality and create your own persona (avatar) and be all that you want to be. Truth and accuracy aren’t relevant or required.
Love and Friendship
Susie first met Tommy at a virtual seaside resort where they ended up sipping virtual Mai Tais, watching the sparkly ocean and flirting. Tommy virtually held Susie’s hand on their first encounter. For several hours each day – during work, after work – the couple got together and ‘played’ at various backdrops (mountains, malls, discos) and continued to “see” one another.
Tommy was the first one to say, “Hey, baby, let’s blow this pop-stand and get real.”
So they graduated from their virtual life and cartoon characters and began exchanging e-mails and text messages – all day long. In no time they were exchanging pictures of their homes, their cars and their pets. Tommy suggested playing the game “I’ll show you mine, you go first” photo exchange (AKA sexting).
With continued prodding, Susie eventually complied and texted some risqué photo of herself, topless.
Sense and Sensibility
Tommy, it turned out, is a man with zero discretion; he is totally lacking in principles. He thought it would be ‘fun’ to share Susie’s photo with various friends. Lots of friends. Susie admits to being a little naïve to the ways of the world. She said she didn’t think about the infamous “Forward” button located on every phone and computer ever made. However, thereafter, she read the story of the teacher who got caught sexting photos of herself to a student. The 41-year old teacher was charged with a felony count of indecent exposure. Bad Form!
Tommyknockers gets Judged – the nightmare
Tommy, of six hours a day on Second Life, didn’t really have a life – or good judgment- and he posted and forwarded Susie’s photo – ten times too many. Busted.
According to FindLaw, ” The taking, sending, receiving, or distribution of such images can, under the letter of the law, constitute varying degrees of offenses that are punished harshly.”
Tommy eventually got reported, busted, fined and you won’t read about it – thanks to his slick attorney.
When she found out her photo had been circulated, Susie shriveled up and cut and dyed her hair, instantly quit Second Life, has sworn off dating and is horribly embarrassed. She is currently living in the Valley with her sister. She wants the word to get out – be careful with how much you share with a stranger on line. Susie got burned and says sexting is like playing with fire.
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