A mother in Dinwiddie, Va., got quite the unpleasant surprise earlier this month when she discovered that her middle school-aged daughter had been sending and receiving nude pictures on her tablet, a local CBS station reports.
Her daughter, 13, had been using her device to sext and send explicit photos to other middle schoolers and even some high schoolers. She mostly received nude photos from boys, according to her mother.
After giving it some thought, her mother turned the girl over to the authorities.
“What she’s facing may be harsh, but we feel it’s for her own protection,” the mother said.
Lisa Caruso, an attorney for the state of Virginia, stated that the young girl likely will not have to go through the court system, nor will she face criminal charges.
Caruso said the girl will likely go through a process “called diversion in the juvenile justice system. That’s a 12-week program and it would be group classes. The parents would get involved [and] there would be some counseling,” Caruso said.
Some of the girl's sexting partners may not get off so lucky, however. There were some boys that the girl's parents believed to be high school seniors, and these young men could face criminal charges.
“We believe them to be 17-18ish," said the mother. "Definitely older than her." She also added that these older boys "did request that they have sex.”
The horrified mother did have some constructive advice for other parents out there who fear for their teen children's safety.
“Please put parental controls on everything. I was informed that if you take it to the store… wherever store you buy it from, they can put all kinds of locks and controls in place, so that they can’t access these apps,” she said.