In January, the 17-year-old Prince William County resident allegedly sent a pornographic cellphone video of himself to his 15-year-old girlfriend, who had initiated the sexting. The mother saw the video on her phone — which her daughter was using — and confronted the boy. But he continued, police allege, and the mother filed a complaint, leading law enforcement to charge him with “manufacturing and distributing child pornography.”
In order to ensure the video featured the teen, the police obtained a warrant two weeks ago to inject him with a drug to induce an erection and photograph it, but then backed down in the face of public resistance. They also decided not to use explicit photos that had been taken earlier.
The teenager’s lawyer last week rightly criticized the warrant as “traumatizing.” But more traumatizing for the boy is the prospect of facing almost four years in prison and a lifetime on the state sex-offender registry — for an alleged video of himself.