Va. police respond to high-profile sexting trial

WASHINGTON — Manassas City Police officers have attempted to explain why they made an unusual request for evidence in a sexting trial involving a local teen.

The case went viral after it came out that police wanted to take photos of the 17-year-old in a sexually aroused state. Police quickly scrapped those plans.

Manassas City Police said in a release after Friday’s one-day trial, that once any defendant goes to trial, all legal avenues of collecting evidence are explored.

Police backed off plans for the pictures because, according the release, they felt there was sufficient evidence of guilt without them. The Prince William County Commonwealth’s Attorney’s Office initially requested the search warrant to obtain the photos.

The Commonwealth’s Attorney’s Office says it’s never been its policy to seek permanent conviction of a person under 18 for possession of child porn or for producing child porn in cases of peer-peer sexting. The release also says the Commonwealth’s Attorney’s Office never asked for those juveniles be put on the sex offender registry.

The teen, through his attorney, had been offered a deal, which would have avoided the trial and request for the pictures.

But that deal was turned down by the defense. The outcome of Friday’s trial ended up being the same outcome as the plea deal — probation for a year with other restrictions.

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