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WCLawyer, Attorney
Category: South Africa Law
Satisfied Customers: 15603
Experience:  L.LB (UOVS)
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Good day If a 16 year old send a picture to her boyfriend

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Good day
If a 16 year old send a naked picture to her 'boyfriend' who then distributes it what are the legal ramifications for her and the individual?
Good day and thank you for your question. My name is XXXXX XXXXX I will try and assist you today.

They can both be charged with the distribution of child pornography, since the girl is under 18 years of age.

The penalty for this offence is a minimum sentence of 10 years imprisonment.

It is, however, doubtful whether a court will find the girl guilty of this offence, since she sent it to her boyfriend and she is above the age of consent.

If the boy is under the age of 18, he will probably be charged under the Child Justice Act and will probably not be sent to jail, but will receive a deferred sentence, where he will probably be sent to attend rehabilitative programs to "correct" his behavior. It may or may not be coupled with a certain amount of hours of community service.

I am not sure what else I can advise you on, but if you have follow up questions before you rate, feel free to ask them at no extra cost. If you are satisfied with the service, kindly rate it positively.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Hi John


You mention under the age of 18 constitutes child pronography and then you mention she is above the age of consent i.e. 16. Where can I read up more on the child justice act ?


Many thanks

The Films and Publications Act says that you cannot take nude pictures of children under the age of 18 and distribute those nude pictures. There are exemptions, but, rule of thumb, if the pictures are of a sexual nature, then it does not fall under any of those exceptions. Note that this is two separate crimes. The taking of the picture, the distribution thereof, the possession thereof.

The Sexual Offences Act says that no child under the age of 16 can consent to sex (and this is the broadest possible definition of sex). So, there is the distinction. For example, if someone is having sex with a child between 16 - 18 years of age, it would not constitute a crime, but if he was to film that and distribute it, that would be a crime. Two separate crimes, actually.

You can find all of these Acts on Another good source would be the website of the Department of Justice and Constitutional Development. De Rebus ( may also have some articles on these acts.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Hi John


Thanks for the clarification. I know that the girl is at fault for sending this picture but I am still considering laying charges against the children who sent the picture on. Do you think this is wise - I am very angry and dissapointed at this stage.


I agree that you should lay charges against the children who sent this on. It is, firstly, criminal behavior and secondly, it probably destroyed that girl's life to a certain extent. Once it is sent on, it is virtually impossible to roll it back.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

One last quesion from me John. Once a charge is laid, can the parent withdraw these charges or will the state need to decide whether to continue with the prosecution or not?

You can indicate to the State that you no longer want to proceed with the matter, but the ultimate decision on whether to withdraw or not, will lie with the Prosecuting Authority.

In recent times (practicing in the Western Cape) I have noted that the State is more and more reluctant to withdraw in cases where the testimony of the complainant is not needed to successfully prosecute.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Thanks John for your time.

Only my pleasure. Kindly do not forget to rate the service.
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