17 year-old Cormega Copening is being charged as an adult for possessing sexual images of a minor: himself.
ormega Copening is the victim of a legal paradox. The 17-year old high school football player from North Carolina is apparently old enough to be charged as an adult for exploiting himself as a teen. The trouble began when police searched the phone of Copening’s girlfriend and found nude pictures of him, sent via SMS by his mobile phone number. It is still unclear why police searched her phone in the first place.
His girlfriend has been identified as Brianna Denson, 16. Though consent laws mean the two are legally allowed to have sex, local police decided to charge Copening as an adult for sending and receiving nude images from a minor. Denson was also charged with sexual exploitation, and pleaded guilty to a lesser charge, resulting in a 12 month probation. The case took an even stranger twist when the state’s charges against Copening were laid out: most of the state’s case against him centered on the photos Copening took of himself. In other words, he’s being charged as an adult for exploiting himself as a minor. In even plainer language, Copening is being prosecuted for taking naked selfies.
The story has received little media attention outside of local coverage, even thought he case could very well end with Copening going to prison and being listed as a sex offender for the rest of his life.
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