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I need to know what the law says about a person sending nude photos to a 10 year old child. The pictures are of her mom and they are being sent out of anger. The person is also calling the child's mom a whore and talking about sexually explicit acts he is doing. What is the law on this? Is this a felony?

I wrote this question in haste as I was seeking an informed answer and guidance on what I should do about this situation as it was happening at that moment. Here is a more detailed description of what is going on.

The guy my ex was living with took possession of her cell phone and kicked her out of the house they were both living in. My oldest child has a cell phone and he knows the phone belongs to her. It could be that his intentions were to send these demeaning photos and text messages to my ex. My oldest child didn't see the texts but when my ex saw the text messages, she pretended to be my daughter and he continued to send text messages, stating that her mother was a whore.

I have contacted the police and the officer I spoke with said that it isn't necessarily a crime to send nude photos of an adult to a child depending on his intentions. The officer did say that he couldn't be certain and will be consulting with his colleagues. If anyone has information to the contrary, I would love to be pointed in the right direction. I attempted to do an Internet search on the topic but everything I saw pertained to sexting.

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    What state is this in? – BlueDogRanch Mar 16 '17 at 4:32
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    I know in Australia it is. – user4651 Mar 16 '17 at 4:36
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    Oregon, USA. I also contacted the police and the dispatcher said it could be a fuzzy area. – Nobody Mar 16 '17 at 4:37
  • You shouldn't ask us, but all the friends and the family of the sender. Well, maybe that person doesn't have any friends... – gnasher729 Mar 16 '17 at 13:10
  • @YvetteColomb: What crime exactly would it be? I would personally classify it as assault against the child, but you might think about something entirely different. – gnasher729 Mar 16 '17 at 13:15
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Get a Stalking Protective Order

TL;DR: he hasn't committed anything illegal (nothing to send him to jail for), and there doesn't seem to be any way to sue him in civil law (for money), but you can try to stop him contacting your family with a stalking protective order


The information below may not be very useful in your circumstances, but I believe is useful for those in potentially similar circumstances who want to see what options exist

I've tried my best to look at Oregon law for causes of action, but looks like you don't have any ways to sue the person.

Best shot might be a claim for the Intentional Infliction of Emotional Distress towards the child.

The elements of intentional infliction of emotional distress include:

  • Extreme or outrageous conduct that;

  • Intentionally or recklessly causes;

  • Severe emotional distress (and possible also bodily harm)

It may be pretty difficult to prove that your child has suffered emotional distress, however there was a case in oregon where it was found that spitting in somone's food could possibly amount to the infliction of emotional distress (but this was in reference to a law regarding the sale of products, but it did highlight a willingness to find in favor of a complainant if emotional distress was a reasonable reaction to the events)

However since you point out that the child did not see the photos, then this kind of suit would definitely fail

The police seem to be correct in stating that sending nudes to a child is not illegal unless the intention was to solicit sex with the child:

ORS 163.432 Online sexual corruption of a child in the second degree

A person commits the crime of online sexual corruption of a child in the second degree if the person is 18 years of age or older and:

(a) For the purpose of arousing or gratifying the sexual desire of the person or another person, knowingly uses an online communication to solicit a child to engage in sexual contact or sexually explicit conduct; and

(b) Offers or agrees to physically meet with the child.

You are unlikely to have a claim of harassment under Oregon Law, since no threats of violence were made, and sending nudes would only be harassment if the nudes were of the recipient and they were of when the recipient was under-18.

  • You might also look at the harassment statutes. These obviously don't specifically apply to images of naked people, but they might criminalize communication with the intention of causing distress. – phoog Mar 16 '17 at 23:23
  • DHS got involved too but said there was nothing they could do. They did say that they would take legal action if my ex moved back in with that person. – Nobody Mar 29 '17 at 6:13
  • Someone went to jail for having sex in front of a child. – user4951 Nov 9 '18 at 1:01
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what the law says about a person sending nude photos to a 10 year old child. The pictures are of her mom.

This is a felony under Australian law and comes under the umbrella of Child sexual assault.

The following quotes are from Statutory definitions of child sexual abuse, from the Australian State and Federal Governments.

From the legislation for Northern Territory: Care and Protection of Children Act 2007

Exploitation of child

Exploitation of a child includes sexual and any other forms of exploitation of the child.

Without limiting subsection (1), sexual exploitation of a child includes:
(a) sexual abuse of the child; and
(b) involving the child as a participant or spectator in any of the following:
(i) an act of a sexual nature;
(ii) prostitution;
(iii) a pornographic performance.

This type of abuse would also constitute Child Sexual Abuse and Child abuse generally.

The person is also calling the child's mom a whore and talking about sexually explicit acts he is doing

From the legislation for Australian Capital Territory: Children and Young People Act 2008

In this Act: "abuse", of a child or young person, means- .../...
(d) emotional abuse (including psychological abuse) if-
(i) the child or young person has seen or heard the physical, sexual or psychological abuse of a person with whom the child or young person has a domestic relationship, the exposure to which has caused or is causing significant harm to the wellbeing or development of the child or young person; .../...

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It may or may not be illegal, but it also may be damaging to the child, and in that case somebody might be taken to a civil court for well-deserved damages. I'm hoping someone will tell us what crime this would be most likely (I'd say it would be an assault on the child), and then you might convince the police to investigate and collect evidence free of cost for you. Even if the outcome is "yes, he most definitely sent these photos intentionally to the child, but no crime has been committed", that would give you evidence that you might need in a civil court.

Fortunately for your daughter (but also for the perpetrator) this didn't succeed. You read that Australia has specific laws (when I read Yvette's post I thought they must have written your post before writing their laws); in other countries I would expect this to be assault if successful. There might be no criminal wrongdoing because he failed; in that case I'd hope that your police officers would at least talk to him and make it clear that he was lucky, and if he tries again and succeeds there would be trouble.

  • I have contacted the police and my daughter didn't see any of the messages. They are looking into if there is any criminal wrong-doing. See my updated question for more information. – Nobody Mar 16 '17 at 22:52

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