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Send Nudes? Soliciting Minors via Snapchat Is Illegal in Pennsylvania

Posted by Joseph D. Lento | Nov 04, 2023 | 0 Comments

The world of social media can often seem unreal. You never really know who you're communicating with, and some online flirtation can seem harmless. Phone apps like Snapchat can seem “safe” because videos and photos disappear quickly. But really, nothing you say or do online is safe from discovery, and sometimes, knowingly communicating with children under 18 can cross the line into illegal activity. If you're facing charges related to communicating with minors online, the Criminal Defense Team at the LLF Law Firm can help. Call them at 888-535-3686 to schedule a consultation.

Northumberland County Man Arrested for Snapchat Nudes

A good example of crossing the line on Snapchat comes from Northumberland County, where police arrested a 32-year-old man on felony child pornography and misdemeanor corruption of minors charges. When an investigation led to a warrant for his phone, police discovered nude photographs of a minor in October 2022. Evidence uncovered indicated the man knew the child was a minor and that he'd had sexual intercourse with her. He also engaged in an online “relationship” with several minor girls, lying about his age. The man also faces charges for felony involuntary deviant sexual intercourse, aggravated indecent assault without consent, aggravated indecent assault forcible compulsion, misdemeanors of indecent assault, and summary harassment related to other incidents.

Felony Child Pornography

In Pennsylvania, you could face child pornography charges for intentionally viewing or possessing any material depicting a child under 18 engaging in a sexual or simulated sexual act. Distributing or sharing these is also illegal. If someone sends you a nude on Snapchat, you take a screenshot and then text it to a friend, you can face felony charges. It doesn't matter if you have a good faith belief that the child was 18 or older. If they are under 18 or you believed they were, you could face felony child porn charges in Pennsylvania. If convicted, you could face five to ten years in prison, depending on whether it's a first offense.

Corruption of Minors

While it can seem obvious that an adult shouldn't ask for or accept nude photographs from a minor under any circumstances, sometimes communicating online with a minor can also be inappropriate or illegal. Under Pennsylvania law, if an adult “by any act corrupts … the morals of any minor … or who aids, abets, entices or encourages” a minor to commit a crime, they can face a first-degree misdemeanor. This could include asking a teen to send inappropriate or nude photos, encouraging a teen to drink or engage in other illegal behavior, and more. For a charge relating to sexual offenses, corruption of minors is a third-degree felony. A conviction can land you on the sex offenders registry, resulting in up to seven years in prison.

You Need an Experienced Pennsylvania Criminal Defense Team

If you're facing child pornography, corruption of minors, or other online charges related to social media in Pennsylvania, it's a serious matter. You need a skilled attorney with experience handling felony criminal charges. The skilled Criminal Defense Team at the LLF Law Firm has been protecting the rights of Pennsylvanians facing criminal charges for years, and they can help you, too. Call the LLF Law Firm today at 888-535-3686 or contact them online to schedule your consultation.

About the Author

Joseph D. Lento

"I pride myself on having heart and driving hard to get results!" Attorney Joseph D. Lento passionately fights for the futures of his clients in criminal courtrooms in Philadelphia and across Pennsylvania as well as in New Jersey and nationwide. He does not settle for the easiest outcome, and instead prioritizes his clients' needs and well-being. With unparalleled experience occupying several roles in the criminal justice system outside of being an attorney, Joseph D. Lento can give you valuable behind-the-scenes insight as to what is happening during all phases of the legal process. Joseph D. Lento is licensed in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and New York, and is admitted pro hac vice as needed nationwide. In the courtroom and in life, attorney Joseph D. Lento stands up when the bell rings!

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The LLF Law Firm Team has decades of experience successfully resolving clients' criminal charges in Philadelphia and the Pennsylvania counties. If you are having any uncertainties about what the future may hold for you or a loved one, contact the LLF Law Firm today! Our Criminal Defense Team will go above and beyond the needs of any client, and will fight until the final bell rings.

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