12-Year-Old Girl Who Sent Topless Photo To Pedophile Who Groomed Her Now Facing Child Pornography Charges

a 12-year-old girl faces child pornography charges for sending a topless photo to a pedophile

A 12-year-old British girl who sent a topless photo to a pedophile who was “grooming” her is now herself facing criminal charges for producing and distributing child pornography, the Independent is reporting.

The girl, whose name has not been released due to her being a juvenile and herself a crime victim, was targeted by the unnamed pedophile on social media. Using a private Instagram account, the pedophile “bombarded” the young girl with requests for topless photos. Eventually, the young girl caved and, using her iPad, snapped a topless photo of herself and sent it to the sexual predator. However, the predator then began making even more obscene demands, and the girl stopped communicating with him.

When the girl’s mom found the explicit photos and communication on the girl’s device, she notified the Child Exploitation and Online Protection (CEOP) Centre, a British crime-fighting agency focused on sexual crimes against children online.

It is not clear, as of this writing, if CEOP was able to track down and/or bring charges against the pedophile who allegedly groomed the young girl (“grooming” refers to the process by which a sexual predator tries to gain the trust and acceptance of the would-be victim).

a 12 year old girl who sent topless photos to a sexual predator is facing child pornography charges

After CEOP’s investigation was complete, the victim’s mom was presented with some shocking news: Her 12-year-old daughter is herself facing child pornography charges. Her mother told the media she was shocked.

“I couldn’t believe it. How can the victim end up with a criminal record? She’s a young, innocent girl who has made a big, big mistake.”

In the United States, according to an April 2016 New York Times reports, law enforcement has come down especially hard on teenagers who share nude photos with one another (often referred to as “sexting“) in an effort to limit child pornography. However, such efforts have made criminals of teenagers who are simply doing what teens do, says writer Amy Adele Hasinoff.

“Both existing child pornography laws and new sexting-specific laws criminalize a common behavior among teenagers.”

Back in Britain, a spokesperson for the National Crime Agency told the Daily Mirror that treating nude and/or sexually-explicit images of underage children as a crime is simply a matter of procedure.

“If a young person is found creating or sharing images, the police must record a crime, in line with Home Office Counting Rules, and investigate.”

However, the spokesperson was also clear that prosecutors have discretion when it comes to such matters, and they don’t necessarily have to file criminal charges.

“Police are encouraged to take a common sense approach that does not criminalize children unnecessarily.”

Meanwhile, the girl and her mother are nervously awaiting the final word on whether or not she will be criminally charged.

While she awaits her fate, Billy Howarth, of Parents Against Grooming, hopes the police will make the right decision.

“The girl has been through an horrendous ordeal and now she has this worry hanging over her. The focus should be on catching the pedophile, not scaring a 12-year-old kid. I hope common sense prevails.”

[Featured Image by dolgachov/Thinkstock]