Teen sexting case highlights severity of N.C. sex offender laws
A North Carolina teenager faces felony sex crime charges after police discovered sexually explicit photographs of a sixteen-year-old girl on his cell phone. Cormega Copening is a seventeen-year-old high school student at Jack Britt High School. Copening was playing quarterback on the football team before being forced to sit out because of the felony investigation. The Fayetteville youth was arrested and charged with violating state law prohibiting the transfer of “sexually explicit” photographs of minors when police discovered nude photographs of Copening and his sixteen-year-old girlfriend on his phone. Police found the photographs by asking his mother, who pays the bill, if she would permit a search of the cell phone so the police might look for any possible evidence in a separate investigation of statutory rape.
Statutory rape means consensual sex with a minor, who is considered incapable of consenting, i.e. consent is invalidated. That also has difficulties as we show in
- Teenage Sexuality (92)
- Child Sex (7)
Copening was not a suspect in that investigation. During the search, the police discovered the nude photos of Copening and his then girlfriend.
It is sad, but it is safest NOT to cooperate with police. Innocent collaboration can point to some unexpected violation of the law.
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