Facebook Sex Video Triggers Child Porn Charges for 1,004

Sex between 15-year-olds is legal, but sharing video of it is considered distributing child porn
By Kate Seamons,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 16, 2018 7:47 AM CST
59 Seconds of Video Land 1,004 People in Hot Water
Danish police informed 1,004 young people of preliminary charges against them for allegedly sharing the videos.   (Getty Images)

The two videos tallied up to 59 seconds and could "ruin my life," says one 19-year-old. She doesn't appear in the footage, but was one of 1,004 people—996 of them between the ages of 15 and 24—notified Monday that they face preliminary charges for sharing child porn. The New York Times delves into the case, which involves video taken of two consenting Danish 15-year-olds having sex. The sex part is legal in the country. but sharing the videos runs afoul of Denmark's child-porn laws. The videos were disseminated via Facebook's Messenger app; Facebook deleted them in the fall upon learning about them and reported them to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, which alerted Europol and Danish police, NBC News reports.

After months spent tracking social media accounts and IP addresses, Danish police made their move in what Bloomberg calls the "biggest case of its kind" in the country. Prosecutors will make the call on whether to move forward with the charges, and the Times predicts that if they do, it's unlikely anyone will end up in prison. But the paper notes that getting off scot-free could be tough: A conviction would make getting certain jobs (with law enforcement, or working with children) impossible, and even if they were to successfully argue they thought the couple was at least 18, they could be hit with a charge for sharing the video without consent. The videos, which some outlets are calling revenge porn, were made by friends of the couple at a party and then shared by those friends. (This revenge porn targeted female Marines.)

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