Kernersville, NC asked in Criminal Law and Sexual Harassment for North Carolina

Q: Is it illegal for an 18 year old to send naked pics to a 19 year old?

Also what if one of the parties wanted revenge and threatened to post them, without consent. Can they get in trouble?

1 Lawyer Answer
Bill Powers
Bill Powers
  • Criminal Law Lawyer
  • Charlotte, NC
  • Licensed in North Carolina

A: This appears to be a duplicate inquiry. Generally, an important inquiry is to determine whether the pictures are of a MINOR.

Sexting is a term used to describe the sending or receiving of sexually explicit messages, including images and videos, through devices such as cell phones. In recent years, with the increase of technology usage amongst teens, there has been an increased prevalence of sexting behavior amongst minors in the United States.

North Carolina relies on North Carolina General Statutes §14-190.16, §14-190.17, and §14-190.17A to govern sexting behavior involving minors. Under these North Carolina statutes, minors who have engaged in sexting behavior are considered to have engaged in sexual exploitation of a minor, commonly known as child pornography. Reliance on child pornography statutes for sexting behavior creates complex legal issues when minors are involved.


“When a depicted person has consented to the disclosure of an image within the context of a personal relationship and the depicted person reasonably believes that the disclosure will not go beyond that relationship.” G.S. 14-190.5A(a)(5). “Personal relationship” is defined by reference to G.S. 50B-1(b); it thus means a relationship where the parties:

- are current or former spouses;

- are persons of opposite sex who live or have lived together;

- are related as parents and children, including others acting in loco parentis to a minor child, or as grandparents and grandchildren;

- have a child in common;

- are current or former household members;

- are persons of the opposite sex who are in a dating relationship or have been in a dating relationship.

G.S. 50B-1(b). A dating relationship “is one wherein the parties are romantically involved over time and on a continuous basis during the course of the relationship. A casual acquaintance or ordinary fraternization between persons in a business or social context is not a dating relationship.”

A person guilty of this offense:

(1) knowingly

(2) discloses an image of another person

(3) with the intent to

(a) coerce, harass, intimidate, demean, humiliate, or cause financial loss to the depicted person, or

(b) cause others to coerce, harass, intimidate, demean, humiliate, or cause financial loss to the depicted person, and

(4) the depicted person is identifiable from the disclosed image or from information offered in connection with it,

(5) the depicted person’s intimate parts are exposed or the depicted person is engaged in sexual conduct in the disclosed image,

(6) the person discloses the image without the affirmative consent of the depicted person, and

(7) the person discloses the image under circumstances such that he or she knew or should have known that the depicted person had a reasonable expectation of privacy

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