She actually believes parents should prohibit kids from dating until
Benda didn’t question his 17-year-old girlfriend when she took a naked picture of herself in the mirror on his cellphone. “I didn’t think.” Now, her former boyfriend is facing serious consequences.
The photo is a reflection of her and Benda, his hands covering her body. The girl later told a Dakota County judge that she had forgotten about the picture until police came to her house and asked about it. Benda was convicted of felony child-pornography possession and is awaiting sentencing.
Michigan has adopted similar legislation, and Illinois and California groups are pushing for those laws, too.
Benda’s father, James Benda, said teens convicted of these crimes face an uphill battle when looking for jobs and going to college because of the social taboos of sex offenders.
Some parents and attorneys say the consequences should be less severe for a young adult who has a consensual sexual relationship with a minor.
But no organized movement exists in the state to change the laws.
And having nude pictures of a minor is technically possessing child porn.
The relationship started months earlier when he was 17.
Teens and young adults sometimes aren’t aware of the possible criminal consequences of dating someone underage, attorneys say.
What seems like a high school romance can lead to a felony conviction and having to register as a sexual offender.
Once the conditions are satisfied, a judge will clear the defendant of the charges and dismiss the case.
While Benda does not have a criminal record in Minnesota, the charges still show up in public records. In a hotel room two years ago after prom, Samuel J.