'Sexting' among teens has criminal consequences - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

'Sexting' among teens has criminal consequences

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It's a trend that was unheard of several years ago but now ‘sexting' has grown in popularity, and for some, it's a part of a daily routine.

High school student Anthony Hill says many of his friends are involved in it.

"They do it a lot and it's just bad to do it," Hill says.

Police say about 20 percent of teenagers have taken nude or semi nude photos of themselves and sent them in a text message. Crime prevention officer Mike Blatman says most don't realize the consequences

"Depending on the age the person in the picture is, the type of picture it is, there could be some charges filed against that person if it is, in fact a juvenile in a sexually graphic picture that's being forwarded. That's child pornography," Blatman says.

Another concern is social networking sites like Myspace and Facebook.

"Once you post a photograph on a web site or send it as a text message, it never goes away. It's there forever," Blatman says.

And that's why Hill says he plans to stay away from the world of sexting.

"Do not do it," Hill says. "It's really bad. It always gets around. You always get a bad reputation and everything."

Police say most teenagers do it because it seems fun and feels secretive. Of course once it reaches the internet and the general public it's no longer fun and can become a crime for both the sender and whoever recieves it.