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Zoey, JD
Zoey, JD, Lawyer
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 27425
Experience:  18 years of litigation experience.
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Im going to make this short and to the point. I was talking

Customer Question

Im going to make this short and to the point. I was talking to a girl who claimed to be 17 turning 18 in a month. We talked about meeting up to hangout and "do stuff" but we never stated having sex. She sent me pictures that I never asked for and I sent her 1 picture of my shirt off. Her parents found out and took her phone, went threw it, and text me stating that she was only 16! I never knew and she told me she was 17 turning 18. Can I get introuble?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Family Law
Expert:  Zoey, JD replied 1 year ago.


How old are you? Were the photos that she sent you sexually explicit?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I'm 21 and yes the ones she sent. I only sent 1 of my shirt off exposing my abs. And I never asked her for those sexual pics of her
Expert:  Zoey, JD replied 1 year ago.

Thanks for the prompt reply.

You could both be in trouble under Missouri law. It is a class A misdemeanor for her to send explicit photos of herself or of any other minor. You, however, as an adult could potentially be charged with possession of child pornography -- one count for every photo that she sent you.

So it's not the fact that you sent her a photo of yourself without a shirt that's harmful. It's what she sent you and you downloaded onto your computer that's the problem.

I understand you didn't ask for this and you thought that you were dealing with someone over the age of consent. However, she would have to be 18 to exchange explicit photos with you. Even though 17 is the age of sexual consent in your state, explicit photos of anyone under 18 is considered child pornography under state and Federal law.

I frankly don't know whether her parents would do anything about this, since you did not elicit photographs nor was your conversation sexual. To report you would be to report her as well. But they could, and you could both get in trouble.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
But truthfully I don't find it fair or right that I would get charged with child pornography. It was through text message so I did not have an option to download, it automatically did. Also would you see no way around that if I had to go to court if I was accused, because her parents did threaten to go to the police and the military police since I'm in the service as well.
Expert:  Zoey, JD replied 1 year ago.

I do see some mitigating factors in your circumstances, but that's not what you asked. You asked if you could get in trouble, and yes, you could be charged with possession of child pornography. You did know she wasn't 18, even though you believed she was 17. Did you make any attempt to stop her from sending photos? Did you cut off the conversation at that point

How did you meet her? There are unscrupulous people who set up situations like this and then blackmail blackmail you. Did her so called parents ask you for money? The whole thing may actually be a scam.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
The parents did ask for money, to cover the expenses for her cell phone to be shut off. I met her on an online dating site. The "parents" know my address so now should I be worried?. Also they are stating of I don't pay they are going to the authorities. I spoke with the "dad" and he claims to go if I do not pay.
Expert:  Zoey, JD replied 1 year ago.

This sounds like the scam. You think you're communicating with someone of age. You have your conversation and some hours or a day later, you get a call from an irate parent who asks you for money. We actually get this question fairly often.

You don't give in to blackmailers. If you do, the money for the phone will only be the first installment, and you'll be paying off these predators for the rest of your life. Blackmail is a crime, and you don't want to allow anyone the power to control your whole life. Do not send any money.

You need to cease all contact with these people and block them so that they can have no further contact with you. As I have said, their "daughter," if she exists at all, is guilty of a crime here, and the evidence that they will have will show that you never asked for pictures, never discussed sexual contact, and you sent her nothing explicit yourself. So they don't have a lot of incentive to report this if it's true. They are only trying to extort money from you and when they won't be able to manipulate you, they will likely move on to someone else they can intimidate. In all the time we have seen this "Sextortion scam" we have never been informed by even one customer that the threat was carried out.

To feel more safe, however, you can go talk to a local criminal lawyer. Let him or her see the correspondence, because if it's favorable to your position, you can be proactive and report THEM to the police for fraud and extortion.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Is there any possible way to make him prove that he's the "father"-or "step father" or maybe call him out on a scam, because if it is a scam I just want him to leave me alone, and if for some crazy reason it's NOT a scam and he is a pissed off dad, then I still don't Wana have the possible charge of child pornography. It could end my military career, in which he is threating to do
Expert:  Zoey, JD replied 1 year ago.

It's best that you not negotiate with a blackmailer. You're not going to get the truth. He can find or forge something that looks like truth to you and then manipulate you so that you can pay, and pay, and pay, and pay, and pay for the rest of your life. That's all he wants, not your military career.

A moment's reflection should tell you this was a scam, if what you gave me was accurate information. It should be pretty clear that you intended and did nothing wrong and that you were set up. That's exactly why you found this unfair yesterday.

I've told you exactly how this should be handled. You should never give in to a blackmailer. Block him. Report the "girl's" profile to the dating site as a blackmail scammer and then cancel your account on the dating site. Find yourself a local lawyer and ask for his assistance to help you report the blackmail to the police in a way that won't incriminate yourself. I repeat, they get nothiing whatsoever out of exposing you to the military or anyone else. This is just about money, and we have not yet seen one of these situations arise where the blackmailer followed through with the request.