Police Investigate Stillwater Teens for 'Sexting'
By Colleen Chen, NEWS 9
STILLWATER, Oklahoma -- Police are investigating several Stillwater Junior High students in Stillwater accused of texting each other a partially nude photo of a fellow student.
Representative Anastasia Pittman said it's possible that the young teens could be convicted of child pornography for sending a nude photo of a peer because of the way Oklahoma's laws are written. However, Pittman said she thinks it's time for change.
Statistics show 20 percent of teens admit to "sexting" or sending nude photos phone to phone. At Stillwater Junior High, 3 boys, ages 13 to14, are now accused of it.
"In today's society they need to know anything they do like that can stick with them for a lifetime," said Stillwater Police Captain Randy Dickerson.
Representative Anastasia Pittman said right now "sexting" among teens falls into Oklahoma's Indecent Exposure and Child Pornography laws that allow for penalties of jail time and a stint on the sex offender registry.
"The law is too vague. It really needs to be clarified," Pittman said. "It's a blanket. It doesn't give an age range."
Pittman said she wants clarification passed next session given what's happening in other states with our same laws.
"They're prosecuting middle school students, and it's unfortunate," Pittman said.
She said she believes students who "sext" should face consequences, but ones that are tempered with common sense saying the discipline powers need to come from parents not lawmakers.
"Check cell phone, regulate your children, talk to them," Pittman said. "If they're going to use technology be aware of the possible ramifications of it."
But the teens in Stillwater may end up learning their lesson the hard way.
"There could be charges filed, and the decision will be made after the interviews are concluded," Dickerson said.
Representative Pittman held a hearing on "sexting" last week and said she hopes to draft a bill by December.
So far, no Oklahoma teens have been prosecuted as adults for "sexting," but Pittman said the point is she wants to prevent it.