A Lorain boy is facing trouble for trying to force a Huron girl to send him obscene photos of herself, Huron police said.
The 15-year-old girl's mother called Huron police after discovering harassing text messages her daughter received from the 17-year-old boy.
Both teens attend the same school in Lorain.
Earlier this month, the two exchanged nude and semi-nude photos of each other via text messages on their cell phones, a Huron Police report said.
On Jan. 5, however, the girl told the boy she no longer wanted to send nude pictures.
"(The boy) responded by sending text messages that were laced with profanity and threats," the report said.
The mother told police she saw a text message where the boy threatened "to show the compromising pictures of (the girl) to others at their school," the report said.
The Erie County prosecutor's office is currently reviewing the case for possible charges against the boy.
Sending nude photos through text messages -- or sexting, as it's called -- has become a veritable epidemic among today's youth.
"The problem we are facing today is that technology is changing much faster than the laws are," Huron police Chief John Majoy said. "Cases like this are becoming more common. Once a text is sent, it cannot be taken back."
In this case, Majoy said, the girl was an unwilling participant.
"I don't think she realized the seriousness of it until after it happened," he said. "Fortunately the parent was able to stop it before it became even worse."
While these incidents often have criminal repercussions, they can also cause serious emotional problems for the victims, Majoy said.
It's especially perplexing for police, prosecutors and court officials, who are often forced to criminalize what some folks might write off as youthful indiscretions.
Police and sheriff's deputies typically leave it up to prosecutors to consider possible charges for sexting incidents.
"It's very common to have these types of cases," Erie County Sheriff's Capt. Paul Sigsworth said. "Generally, a lot of these cases we refer to the prosecutor, especially when it's two juveniles sending (images) back and forth."
Erie County deputies often investigate cases involving two or more minors who willing photographed themselves nude, then traded the pictures.
"Then the reason we hear about it is the boyfriend and girlfriend split up, and out of retaliation one of the parties sends (the photo) out to bunch of other people," Sigsworth said.
The bottom line: Nude photos posted on the Internet are there permanently, allowing little wiggle room for youthful indiscretions.
"A lot of it does end up on the net, so it's out there indefinitely," Sigsworth said. "I don't think a lot of (children) understand the gravity of what they're doing."