Sexting: Pictures in the Wrong Hands Part II

By Camaron Abundes   
NewsWest 9

MIDLAND- The law is clear cut but for the federal agents who investigate cases of children manufacturing and disseminating nude photos of themselves, it's complex.
"Technically the law is if you posses it, than it's a violation of federal law." Special Agent Matt Espendshade, says the technology is outpacing the law books,"I think it is a scary situation for parents, technology has advanced so far so fast."

Possession or Distribution of child pornography can carry a hefty sentence but nowhere in federal law does it list an exemption for teens who make or send naked photographs.

"We try to use these laws responsibly." Espenshade said they aren't targeting teens with federal child pornography law, but that's not to say it can't happen.

The Midland branch of the FBI covers 14 counties in West Texas. Espenshade says at least once a month a "Sexting" case comes across an agent's desk.

Another concern for parents is the photos can end up in the hands of sex offenders.

"If the get that picture than they will share that with others which have the same proclivity and in essence the victim is victimized over and over again," Espenshade said.

Once on the Internet, the titillating images may end up costing a teen a future career or personal embarrassment.

"The now is not the forever and they're going to have to live with those things for the rest of their lives." Espenshade says parents need to talk to their kids.