Skip to main content

I'm 17 and am sexting with a 30 year old in the MIdwest. What could happen to us?

Ithaca, NY |

We met online. I told him i was 22 but recently I have been wondering does the 13 year difference would create any legal problems? I have consented with him, so that's not a problem,right?

Attorney Answers 6

  1. For purposes such as these, you are no longer considered a minor in NY and as such there wouldnt be any legal problems with the sexting (so long as the words and images are limited to the two of you). Other problems, maybe…

  2. Really bad idea, as technology is now. Also practically really shortsighted to send ANYONE naked pictures of you. I know you think online reationships are real, but they're not, and for all you know, this guy is a 13 year old with a vindictive streak who plans to post these photos of you on his own website and every amateur porn site he can find, just when you're ready to apply for a collage or a job. Why would you give anyone that kind of power over you, especially someone you have no idea if you can trust? And really for something like this, there's no such thing as "someone you can trust," since these photos can last virtually forever and just when you don't want them to appear, they might.

    Also really bad idea legally, 1st of all, each state has its own law, so "midwest" can mean lots of states, and we don't even know which one might apply here. There are also strict FEDERAL laws that cover the entire US. Some of these laws do differentiate between people based on a big age difference.

    Lying about your age is dishonest, and should be a clue to you that what you're doing is wrong, but it could give this guy a defense that he didn't know you were underage.

    Avvo doesn't pay us for these responses, and I'm not your lawyer just because I answer this question or respond to any follow-up comments. If you want to hire me, please contact me. Otherwise, please don't expect a further response. We need an actual written agreement to form an attorney-client relationship. I'm only licensed in CA and you shouldn't rely on this answer, since each state has different laws, each situation is fact specific, and it's impossible to evaluate a legal problem without a comprehensive consultation and review of all the facts and documents at issue.

  3. While you may be of statutory age in NY. There are federal laws against sexting between 17 year olds and adults. In fact the law is so ridiculous in this area, that a boy who is of age and a girl who isn't, could have sex, but if they go in separate rooms and do it on camera, then a federal crime has been committed. Hence the age difference does matter. Keep it clean until you turn 18.

    This answer does not, nor is it intended to, create an attorney-client relationship or constitute attorney advertising. Rather, it is offered solely for information purposes. Since the facts of each case are different, it is critical to consult with qualified counsel with whom information can be shared and assessed under an attorney-client privilege, so that competent advice can be obtained on which you can make informed decisions.

  4. I don't see a legal problem as long as all of any photo's you send are of a 17year old and above!

    I am a criminal defense attorney practicing in Nassau, Suffolk and New York City. The above information is not a substitution for a meeting whereas all potential legal issues can be discussed.

  5. Difficult to express how really bad this behavior is. You have no idea at all who you are really conversing with. It could be a cop, some pervert in prison, and eighth grade girl who get her friends together, a blackmail ring operating out of Namibia. Who knows. So IT IS A PROBLEM! You just do not know exactly what sort of problem. If the cops bust down your door at 2:00 AM, then you will know it is a criminal defense issue. If the blackmail letters start to arrive, that will clarify. If your picture is suddenly viral on the Internet, you may be able to find a few people in NY who will not see them. Mostly, homeless people without PC's.

    So, stop it.

    We do not have a client/attorney relationship until you make an appointment, we discuss your case face to face, I accept a retainer, and we explictly agree to enter into representation.

  6. It depends on your definition of sexting, You would be able to consent to sexual contact in NY state. However for purposes of enforcing the federal law (18 U.S.C. §2256 - child pornography laws) “minor” is defined as a person under the age of 18. In addition to the potential criminal problems, you can read the numerous horror stories on the net that should warn you that this is a very bad idea.

    All answers are for information purposes only. Answering this question or any future questions does not form any attorney-client relationship. Be mindful, that answers are limited by the limited facts presented by the questioner and are not meant to take the place of competent legal advice by an attorney fully informed of all the facts surrounding your case. However, be aware that nothing posted in a public forum such as this can be deemed confidential or privileged communication. For a privileged private consultation, contact me at 212-385-8600 or via my website

Criminal defense topics

Top tips from attorneys

What others are asking

Can't find what you're looking for?

Post a free question on our public forum.

Ask a Question

- or -

Search for lawyers by reviews and ratings.

Find a Lawyer

Browse all legal topics