Many people know how horrible the prison industrial complex can be. But this might take the cake in terms of being one of the silliest charges ever faced by anyone, black or white. But then again, the American justice system is known worldwide for the number of people that it puts behind bars.
A teen in North Carolina is literally facing time in jail for sexting with his 16-year old girlfriend. Both of them are being charged with possessing inappropriate pics of a minor, which is certainly not acceptable. The only problem is that they are being charged with having pictures of themselves. Yes, you read that right: The young lady is being charged with possessing images of herself and the young man is being charged with possessing pictures of his own body.
So, while it’s bad enough that two lives are being ruined for doing something that millions of teenagers do, this issue is made even worse because young people are now being incarcerated for violating themselves. You can’t help but wonder if race plays a role in this, since black men are the most incarcerated group of people in the world. One can hardly imagine facing the next 60 years as a sex offender for something like this. It’s pretty astonishing.
Read more on the story from Atlanta Black Star:
A 17-year-old boy is facing 10 years in prison after being charged as an adult for having sexually explicit photos of a minor – himself.
Cormega Copening, from North Carolina, where the age of criminal responsibility is 16, is facing two counts of second-degree sexual exploitation and three counts of third-degree exploitation. The third-degree charges of sexual exploitation of a minor actually stem from the pictures Copening had of himself. Each count is a felony charge carrying at least two years in jail.
“In North Carolina you are considered an adult at 16 years old as far as being charged,” said Sgt. Sean Swain of the Cumberland County Sheriff’s Department. “But to disseminate and receive sexually explicit texts, photos or videos, you must be over 18.”
Authorities said the sexting charges came about when police took Copening’s phone while investigating another incident. Officers discovered ‘sext’ messages between Copening and his 16 year old girlfriend.
Both teenagers were charged as adults for the sexual exploitation of minors – themselves – for taking and possessing naked photos. His girlfriend took a plea deal on a misdemeanor charge of ‘disseminating harmful material to minors’.