Scary Trends: Lisa Bloom

Should Teens Be Prosecuted for Sexting?

Dr. Phil asks Lisa, "Prosecutors are after these kids for doing this stuff, right?"

"This is very scary," she says. "In 12 states, teenagers have been charged or arrested for felony child porn for taking either a picture of themselves nude or semi-nude, or engaging in some kind of sexual act, and it's just on their camera, or they send it to another kid. This is, in my view, a complete subversion of the child porn laws. Yes, it's a technical violation, because they are under age, but child porn laws were designed to protect kids from adult exploitation. This is really a whole new world."

Dr. Phil points out that teenage boys often are able to persuade girls to send them indecent pictures. "They can get these girls to do something that they wouldn't do in a rational moment, and to me, those girls are victims. For some guy to leverage them into doing that, they are victims. They are not perpetrators. They need to be smarter about it. Their parents need to talk to them about it," he says. "For a boy to get that picture and then broadcast it all across the school, I've got a problem with that."

[AD]"That's a violation of her privacy, and that's harassment, and I think there should be consequences for that," Lisa says. "The problem with these laws is if a girl wants to go to the law and go after him for doing that, she could be charged as part of the child porn conspiracy, if she took the picture and sent it to him. That's why these laws are completely out of whack."