With easier access to cell phones and computers issued by their employers, employees in Milwaukee and elsewhere are finding it easier to send inappropriate message and pictures to their co-workers and others. Sending sexually explicit messages and pictures may violate codes of professional conduct and may even be considered a criminal offense in some circumstances. Recently, an FBI report has revealed issues of sexting among their employees.
Recent FBI reports have exposed misconduct by FBI employees while using government-issued cell phones and computers. Disciplinary reports from the FBI’s Office of Professional Responsibility show that some employees have used the cell phones to send explicit emails and text messages and nude pictures to other individuals, including other employees. While many FBI employees do act within their professional duties, more than eighty employees have been fired for their misconduct.
While the sexting reports above were handled internally and did not involve criminal offenses, sexting may be considered a criminal offense in other circumstances. Most commonly, sexting involving nude pictures of minors may lead to serious criminal penalties. Child pornography laws may apply to sexting under these circumstances. In some cases, a defendant convicted of an Internet sexual offense may face the same penalties as a defendant convicted of a sexual offense not involving the Internet. These penalties may include significant prison time and registration on the state’s sex offender registry.
It is important to remember that all defendants are presumed innocent unless proven guilty. Every defendant deserves a fair trial with all of their constitutional rights. Particularly when a defendant is facing sex-related charges, a strong defense will be essential to minimize the potentially severe consequences of a criminal conviction.
Source: Fox6 Now Milwaukee, “FBI battling ‘rash of sexting’ among its employees,” Katie DeLong, Feb. 24, 2013