Teen arrested on ‘sexting’ charge

Published 8:25 am Wednesday, August 17, 2011

An Atmore teenager faces charges after officials said he was indicted after allegations of sending pornographic images to a minor.

The case may be the first charge of “sexting” in Escambia County, which relates to sending pornographic images to others by means of cell phones equipped with messaging or e-mail capabilities.

James D. Jackson, 18, of Atmore, was arrested on four counts of distributing pornography to a minor. Officials said the case involved images sent via cell phone.

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No other details were available Monday in connection with the case.

Stephanie Jackson, director of the Kathy Hill Child Advocacy Center, said parents should be aware of the kind of messages their children are receiving or sending.

“Parents need to be monitoring their children’s phones,” she said.

And while children may think that deleting the image will get rid of it, Jackson pointed out that images and messages can be retrieved.

“If (parents) see illicit material they need to report it immediately to authorities,” she said.

Forwarding it to someone else could just result in charges for the parents or children who received it.

According to the National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy, 39 percent of teens report that they have sent sexually suggestive text messages; 48 percent of teens say they have received such messages. And 25 percent of teen girls and 33 percent of teen boys say they have had semi-nude or nude images, originally meant for someone else, shared with them.