Judge rules in teen sexting case

WASHINGTON — It was a teen sexting case that grabbed international headlines and on Friday the Manassas teen who is at the center of the case was in court facing felony charges for sexting his girlfriend.

“I really don’t know how I feel about it yet. ‘Cause I don’t know how much has sinked in,” says the 17-year-old Manassas high school student following his one- day trial at the Manassas courthouse.

The teen was facing two felony charges for distribution of child porn and possession of child porn. If he had been convicted, he would have to register as a sex offender and could have gone to prison.

Jessica Foster, the teen’s lawyer, says he was “not found guilty. He was not found innocent either. He wasn’t acquitted.”

Judge George DePolo said there were facts sufficient on both felony charges, but he deferred judgment until sometime in the future. At that time, he can either dismiss the charges or pursue the case once again.

The teen is on probation for a year; has 100 hours of community service; is not allowed to be on social media; is not allowed to text; and he is not allowed to have contact with the victim.

The teen’s aunt and legal guardian, Stacy Bigley, says, “He just has to comply for a year and hopefully all will be well in the end.”

She says she’s happy he’s not on the sex offender register and that he was not found guilty. But, she still questions why the girlfriend was never brought up on charges since she says the girlfriend was exchanging pictures too via a cell phone.

This case was talked about internationally after police had wanted to take pictures of the teen in a sexually aroused state as part of their case, then last month decided against it.

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