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Zoey_ JD
Zoey_ JD, JustAnswer Criminal Law Mentor
Category: Criminal Law
Satisfied Customers: 23178
Experience:  Admitted to NYS Criminal defense bar in 1989. Extensive arraignment, hearing, trial experience.
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My friend received a message from a girl online who is 16

Customer Question

JA: Hi. What do you want help with?
Customer: My friend received a message from a girl online who is 16 years old
JA: Because laws vary from state to state, could you tell me what state is this in?
Customer: She wanted his nude photo
JA: Have you talked to a lawyer yet?
Customer: Illinois
JA: Anything else you think the lawyer should know?
Customer: He sent the photo now the girl is saying that she will go to policw
Submitted: 2 months ago.
Category: Criminal Law
Expert:  Zoey_ JD replied 2 months ago.


Sending sexually explicit photos to a minor is a serious offense. If she is under 16 and he knew it at the time, he can be charged with a felony and he risks lifetime registration as a sex offender if he is convicted.

That said, there is a very popular scam going around where people deliberately entrap others into sending nude photos or explicit videos, and then they blackmail them.

Did this girl ask your friend for money in order not to report it? Does the girl know who and where your friend really is? Did he send the photo through a website or over his mobile phone?

Customer: replied 2 months ago.
No she has not asked for money but she asked him for the photos,
Customer: replied 2 months ago.
He is new to this country and wasn't aware about the lAw
Customer: replied 2 months ago.
She knows the city where he lives
Customer: replied 2 months ago.
the photo was sent through a online portal
Expert:  Zoey_ JD replied 2 months ago.

If she wasn't trying to blackmail him by asking for money so that she wouldn't report him, he needs to assume that he may wind up reported to the police. It doesn't matter that he doesn't know the law. Ignorance of the law is not an excuse that will prevent him from being charged.

Maybe she's just trying to scare him. And maybe she doesn't know enough about him to be able to find him. The picture went over an online portal and even if she knows his name and a city, that may not be enough for her or the police to find him.

He needs to cease all contact with this person NOW. Nothing he can say will make this better and anything he says to anyone other than his lawyer can be used against him. He needs to cancel his membership immediately on the site where he met her and where he was able to send the photo.

In the event that police reach out to him and ask him about this incident, he should tell them NOTHING about whether he did or didn't send this photo. He should just let the police know that he has nothing to say to them until he has first spoken to a lawyer. And then he should go and look for one.

Customer: replied 2 months ago.
When can police approach him and what if girl only asked for the photo
Customer: replied 2 months ago.
What is the punishment for the same if he is not a citizen
Customer: replied 2 months ago.
also the profile of girl wrote horny and 17 would be 18 though
Customer: replied 2 months ago.
Waiting for the answer
Expert:  Zoey_ JD replied 2 months ago.

The girl has to be 18. If she's under 18 he can't send nude pictures. She told him her age. She's doing something wrong too, so maybe she won't report him. But the fact is, he could be charged with a crime. He could have/should have said no. She is a minor.

If she reports the crime and the police are able to locate him and feel that they have enough evidence to arrest him, they will contact him. I have no idea how long that could take. It may never happen. It could happen as soon as tomorrow.

What's important is that he NOT agree to be questioned by the police about this incident. He has the right not to incriminate himself.

This would be a crime of moral turpitude if he's convicted of such a thing and it could potentially get him deported if he's been here for less than 5 years.

Customer: replied 2 months ago.
Girl told him that he has the option to say NO to police and it happened on Sunday so what should my friend do now he has deleted that application from his phone and he is very much afraid the profile of the girl read that she is horny and 17 and would be 18 though will that help my friend
Expert:  Zoey_ JD replied 2 months ago.

If your friend has deleted the application and has stopped talking to the girl, there is nothing else he has to do. He may hear from the police. He may not.

Since what she was doing was illegal too, she may never report him. If she does, the fact that her ad said that she was under 18 does not help your friend.

The only thing he may want to do is to get the name and phone number of a local criminal lawyer and consult with him or her. Many offer free or low cost consultations. He doesn't have to actually hire the lawyer, since he's not in any trouble yet. Nothing may happen but if it does, he'll need a lawyer quickly, and so it would be good for him to take the time to find one he could trust and have the name and phone number handy.

Expert:  Zoey_ JD replied 2 months ago.

I should also add that if this happened Sunday night, there has been enough time for the police to get involved already. It's very good that he has not heard anything yet. It doesn't mean that nothing will ever happen. But with each new day that he does not hear from the police, his chances are better and better that this girl has done nothing.

Customer: replied 2 months ago.
What would happen to girl for this illegal act
Expert:  Zoey_ JD replied 2 months ago.

It would depend upon the state. Some states have laws about teen sexting. Others don't. In most cases it's a misdemeanor.

Customer: replied 2 months ago.
Can you please suggest a lawyer
Expert:  Zoey_ JD replied 2 months ago.

The website does not allow us to make a direct referral to a lawyer for a law firm. What we can do is to direct you to legal referral services, which is where lawyers themselves go when they need to find a lawyer in another town or subject area and they do not know of anybody. One that has been around for a long time and which is highly respected is

Many of Martindale's lawyers are peer and client rated which will help you to choose among them.

Another resource would be to call your local Bar Association and ask them for a referral to a local criminal lawyer.

Expert:  Zoey_ JD replied 2 months ago.

Just checking in to see if you need more help or any clarification of my answer. If so, please reply here on this question thread.