Va. Teen Could Be Jailed for "Sexting" Girlfriend

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    NEWSLETTERS

    A Virginia teen could be jailed for "sexting" with his girlfriend, and even be forced to register as a sex offender. News4's Northern Virginia Bureau Reporter David Culver has the story. (Published Thursday, Jul 10, 2014)

    A Virginia teen is facing two felony charges after he was caught sexting with his girlfriend.

    If he's convicted, he could be forced to register as a sex offender and spend time in jail.

    Trey Sims, 17, was charged with manufacturing and distributing child pornography in January, while exchanging texts with his then-girlfriend, who was 15 at the time. His iPhone and iPad were seized by police, and he was taken into custody.

    News4's David Culver spoke with Sims' aunt about the incident. Trey was in the room during the interview, but didn't speak because the investigation is ongoing.

    "He said they took him to a room and took pictures of his genitalia,” Stacy Bigley said. “I asked if they’re allowed to do that, and [Trey] said, ‘I tried to refuse,’” which he did, he didn’t want to do it. They told him if he did not they would do it by force.”

    A local magistrate signed off on a new search warrant Thursday, asking for more nude pictures of Trey's genitalia to compare with evidence. The teen said police wanted to force him to become aroused.

    “I think it’s effectively child abuse, that’s what it is from my perspective,” Carlos Flores Laboy, Trey’s guardian ad-litem, said.

    Both the city of Manassas police department and the Commonwealth's Attorney for Prince William County declined to comment to News4 on the case.

    The teen's defense attorney said she plans to fight the charges and is questioning why her client is the only minor in the case facing charges.

    “From what I gather, there’s no intention to charge and this was handled inefficiently,” Jessica Foster said.

    For the time being, Trey and his aunt have been allowed by a judge to visit family out of state for the holiday weekend.

    He's due back in court in August -- a judge will then decide if he should go on trial. He could be forced to register as a sex offender and imprisoned, again. 

    NBC Washington originally published this story on July 3, 2014 at 8:34 p.m.