PBC teens under investigation for sexting

By Al Pefley - email

BOCA RATON, FL (WFLX) - "Sexting." It's a crime that has made headlines in other parts of the nation.

Now, it's happening here.

A defense attorney says the Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office has shown up with search warrants at the homes of  five teens in the past few weeks, and has seized their cell phones and home computers, in a stunning sexting investigation.  He says the two girls and three boys are all suspected of sending racy nude photos of themselves or partially-nude photos of themselves to their friends.

"It's something their friends are doing back and forth, exchanging pictures and they don't look at it as a crime.  But under the child pornography act, it is a very, very serious crime, said Guy Fronstin, a criminal defense attorney from Boca Raton who says he  represents the five young people.

Fronstin says the sexting cases are the first of their kind in Palm Beach County and all the teens are between the ages of 14 and 16.  They are under investigation, but have not been arrested or charged so far.  A spokeswoman for the Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office said she did not have any details on the investigation, and could not confirm that one is underway.

Fronstin says the teens need therapy, not prison.  And  he hopes to convince the state attorney's office to place them in group therapy, rather than pursue criminal charges.

He says if they are charged and convicted,  they could be listed as registered sex offenders, which would hurt their chances of getting into college or getting jobs.