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Teen sexting on the rise throughout the Midlands

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Kershaw County, SC (WACH)-- It's scary to think of your teen sending explicit photos to other students through the internet or even worse through something you may have bought, their cell phone.

Chandra Cleveland Jennings, with Cleveland Private Investigations and Consultants, said the problem is bigger than you think. "A lot of parents don’t understand that kids are getting paid,” Jennings said. “Getting paid for certain exploited sexual positions." Those photos are being shared with other students and uploaded to popular sex sites like PornHub.

Kershaw County deputies posted on Facebook Tuesday warning parents to monitor their children's social media. "If you're planning to go to college, or later on you decide that's not the life you want to use or want to do,” Jennings said. “It’s too late because your images are out there." It's not just a problem for Kershaw County.

Jennings said all parents need to know what to look for like:

- If your child is wearing clothes you didn't buy.

- If your child is on social media site late at night or

- If they're constantly on their cell phone.

"It is devastating, and not everyone is on board with what happens when that happens,” Jennings said. “I can say that there have been quite a few schools that know this whole routine too well."

Here's the problem, after a teen has been exposed the parents want something done immediately, not knowing their teen has entered criminal behavior for sharing nude pictures of a child.

The Kershaw County Sheriff said he wants to give parents a chance to fix the problem before his, or any department has to pursue criminal charges.

Right now, in the state of South Carolina anyone - regardless of age- who creates, distributes or possesses an image of a minor engaged in a sexually explicit act may be prosecuted under the state's child pornography laws. If convicted, that person will generally be required to register as a sex offender.

Jennings said there are apps available for parents to download to secretly monitor their child’s cell phone and pictures sent out.

You can click here for a full listing.




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