Alleged Red Bluff High School Sex Crimes Investigated
I’m Ed Smith, a Red Bluff personal injury lawyer. The Red Bluff Police School Resource Officer has opened an investigation of alleged possible sexual assault and possession of child pornography committed by an 18-year-old male student of the Red Bluff Joint Union High School District. The student has been accused of being involved in illicit sexual behavior with minors as well as possessing sexual images sent by several high school girls ranging in age from 14 to 17 years old.
The accused student allegedly acquired the illegal photographs through “sexting,” which is a term used to refer to the process of sharing sexually explicit photography of one’s body with another person over text messages. Law enforcement indicated that, although the act of sexting is voluntary, images can be shared easily and often lead to situations in which a vulnerable youth is threatened with coercion, blackmail, and extortion. Once an image is sent to the original recipient, noted officers, it can very quickly get into the wrong hands and can be put to nefarious and harmful use.
The student was interviewed by officers on Tuesday, May 2, and was arrested directly afterward.
The Law on Sexting in California
Officials from the Red Bluff Police School Resource Office said that, according to the law, sexting between legal adults and minors is considered to be the possession, production, and distribution of pornography of minors. In California, the law regarding child pornography dictates that anyone who knowingly promotes, uses, persuades, induces, or coerces a minor to participate in the creation of pornography is guilty of committing a felony and can face up to eight years in prison as a sentence. Merely knowingly possessing sexually explicit images or video depicting minors is also a felony, and punishable with a $2,500 dollar fine, a year in a county jail, or both.
School and Police Action
The Red Bluff Police Department and high school district are working in cooperation in hopes of putting an end to the trend of sexting. However, they recognize that in order to do so, it will be a necessity to develop strategies for prevention and education in addition to enforcing existing law.
Advice to Parents
Both the Red Bluff Police Department and High School are advising parents to have conversations with their children about sexting and educate about the possibilities it presents for coercion and abuse. The Red Bluff Police Department also issued a statement telling parents that they should contact the police department if they have worries that their child might be the victim of any form of sexual harassment.
Youth and Sexual Assault
Studies show that one-third of all females and one-fifth of all males will become the victims of sexual assault in some way before they reach the age of 18. This abuse does not always happen or stop at high school either. Tragically, cases of abuse can be found even in preschools and also often occur after a young person graduates and goes to college. Sexual assault can also occur in the workplace.
Red Bluff Personal Injury Lawyer
I’m Ed Smith, a Red Bluff personal injury lawyer. Sexual assault is a serious offense and can cause major emotional and physical trauma. If you, or a person you love has suffered a sexual assault, you can call me at (530) 392-9400 to receive free and friendly advice. I can also be reached at my toll-free number, (800) 404-5400.
I am a proud member of the California chapter of the Million Dollar Advocates Forum. Million Dollar Advocates Forum is a group of the country’s top-rated trial lawyers. All of these lawyers have obtained verdicts or settled cases worth over $1 Million Dollars.
Some of my Past Verdicts and Settlements can be viewed here.
Image Attribution: By 白井瑞樹 – 自己撮影, CC0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=15375923