Frequently Asked Questions

Q: My 13 year old son and his friends regularly text each other and we monitor his usage intermittently. We saw he had a semi-naked picture of a classmate on his phone. He said his friend sent it to him, who allegedly took the photo. The picture was taken without her permission as it looks like it was taken from the bathroom window. The other parents and I are worried what the criminal implications would be.

The photo on your son’s phone can constitute child pornography or child exploitative material, as it involves offensive and nude photos of a minor. The criminal implications for the maker of this material, in this case your son’s friend, is a charge of making and distributing child pornography. Your son could be charged with the criminal offence of possessing child pornography by having it on his phone, and any possible charge of distribution if he forwarded it anyone else.

A child aged 10 -14 can only be found guilty of a crime if the child knew that their actions (or inactions) were wrong. Once over 14, the child is old enough to be charged with a criminal offence. The penalties for making and possessing child pornography can be quite serious. It is best to obtain legal advice on the next steps.


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