Adults Texting A Minor

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Latest post Thu, Oct 14 2010 6:19 PM by Taxagent. 6 replies.
  • Thu, Oct 14 2010 4:32 PM

    Adults Texting A Minor

    A friend is very confused on what is acceptable and what is not acceptable for an adult to text a minor.  No immoral images or sexually explicit content was ever sent.  Messages were only about how they love the child, how much they looked forward to getting a hug, looking forward to seeing them again, and writing things like xoxoxo, and looking forward to a kiss.  Is this considered illegal?  Who decides where the line is drawn for acceptable texts and not.  Again, no sexually explicit material or words were used.

  • Thu, Oct 14 2010 4:52 PM In reply to

    • cbg
      Consumer
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    Re: Adults Texting A Minor

    How old is the child? Is the adult a relative?

    I can see this being acceptable if the child is five years old and this is along the lines of, "When Auntie comes to visit she wants a big hug and kiss from her favorite niece" but other than that, I think it would be pushing the limits.

  • Thu, Oct 14 2010 4:54 PM In reply to

    Re: Adults Texting A Minor

    I am not a lawyer, but just applying common sense.

    I think it would depend on the relationship between the adult and the minor, and if the messages were designed to make the kid, or the parents, uncomfortable.

    A mom texting "I love you" to a child would be OK.

    A neighbor texting "I love you" to a child that the child and parents find annoying would not be OK.

    I guess I would ask myself what if the parents of the child saw the messages? What if these messages were read aloud in court, or published in the newspaper? Have the child's parents asked that the person doing the texting cease?

  • Thu, Oct 14 2010 5:05 PM In reply to

    Re: Adults Texting A Minor

    How old is the child?

    Male or female?

    How old is the adult?

    Male or female?

    What is the relationship between the child and the adult?

     

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  • Thu, Oct 14 2010 5:43 PM In reply to

    • Ford
      Lawyer
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    • Joined on Thu, Mar 16 2000
    • Posts 12,797

    Re: Adults Texting A Minor

    If the adult isn't a parent, they should rein in their texts.

    What is often illegal is communications with a minor with the intent to eventually meet up for sexual acts, usually with some additional step towards completing that plan.

    Using a phone to harass someone can be illegal.

  • Thu, Oct 14 2010 6:03 PM In reply to

    Re: Adults Texting A Minor

    I am not a lawyer, but it sure sounds like you are walking on a gray area.

    If, for example, the girl is 16, and it's "Uncle Fred", not really her Uncle, a friend of the family, who is 45, and he can't wait to kiss and hug this girl, um, er, well, can you see where that might be interpretted as not so great, right?

    If, however, it's "Aunt Gracie", the sister of her mother, and the child is 8, that's probably more acceptable.

    You need to be very very careful on things like this.

    When in doubt, yank it back a couple of notches.

    Questions like this, give me a creepy feeling.

     

  • Thu, Oct 14 2010 6:19 PM In reply to

    Re: Adults Texting A Minor

    If you are asking what is illegal, then telling a child that you love them, you look forward to hug, etc., is not illegal no matter the age of the child or the relationship unless there is an order of protection in place that bars the contact or the adult is under a restriction(e.g. can't have any contact with minors) due to a conviction on a sex crime charge. Depending on the exact details, it might be creepy, but creepy is not illegal. Beyond those examples that you gave, it will depend on the applicable state law and the exact details of the situation. But free speech allows for a lot, the government is restricted in what kind of speech it can ban or punish.

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