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Teen Kills Himself After Confrontation About Sex Video

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Laws on the books targeting teenagers who send sexual images of themselves or take video of themselves in sexual positions have long been the cause of controversy. Teens are being prosecuted under the same criminal statutes that pedophiles are charged under for making and producing sexually explicit images of minors. Yet the same legislation that is designed to protect children is now being used to prosecute them. In one case, the teen who was on the receiving end of an interrogation killed himself after school officials interrogated him prompting a wrongful death lawsuit against the school. The school district and the City of Naperville approved a settlement in which they each paid $125,000 to the school.

Threatening Child Pornography Charges

Officials from the school told the teen three hours prior to his suicide that he would be facing child pornography charges for an alleged video of him having sex with a classmate. The teen, who was an honor roll student, prompted a change in the Illinois law. Now, unless the matter is an imminent emergency, a parent, guardian, or family lawyer must be present while the interrogation is taking place.

The death, which sparked outcry over the absurdity of charging children with the same crimes ostensibly used to protect them from sexual predators, sparked more outcry when a judge ruled that school officials weren’t legally responsible for the teen’s death because they “could not have known” that the teen was suicidal during the interrogation. That being said, they were essentially threatening to charge him for a sex crime that could remain on his record for the rest of his life. It’s hard not for anyone to interpret that is a direct threat to the rest of their lives.

The judge said that her finding that the school officials weren’t legally responsible stopped short of condoning how the school officials handled the interrogation. Nonetheless, the parents of the boy were not happy that the judge let the school officials off the hook. They claim that those conducting the interrogation ignored clear signs of emotional distress and continued to hammer at the defendant with the worst possible legal outcome.

Communities Grapple With How to Deal With Smartphones

Modern technologies can create problems under the law, and this particular problem is one that local legislatures have been dealing with in various ways. While it’s logistically possible to charge a teenager with production of child pornography, it violates the spirit of the law to hold them to the same standards we hold adults and pedophiles who have an unnatural interest in younger people as sexual victims. Clearly, that wasn’t the case here. Even if they had found a video (which they didn’t) the teen should still not have been subjected to that type of interrogation nor threatened with statutes that are meant to protect children.

Talk to a Jacksonville Wrongful Death Attorney Today

The Jacksonville wrongful death attorneys at Gillette Law file wrongful death lawsuits on behalf of grieving families against negligent parties. If you’ve lost a loved one, talk to us today to set up a free consultation.

 

Resource:

myjournalcourier.com/news/us/article/Suit-settled-in-teen-suicide-that-led-to-Illinois-14404284.php

https://www.gillettelaw.com/seeking-compensation-for-emotional-distress/

 

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