I am asking for someone dear to me. This will be a hypothetical example.

Hypothetically, if a 19 year old male (living overseas, say in Turkey) sexts/exchanges nudes with a female who says she is 18 (living in the US) and then it turns out that she lied about her age and she's 16 or 15, for example, and 2 years later her parents discover about this sexting and decide to take legal action against the person living overseas, what could be done? (Assume that there's no screenshots of when she lied about her age and said she's 18)

Would he be extradited? And under which jurisdiction? I have contacted an expert on online security and he said that less than 1% of domestic cybercrime is prosecuted, and that international cybercrimes very rarely get prosecuted, except for fraud, because there's a lot of 'serious offenders' overseas. But I still would like the opinion of people well-versed in law please. Assume it happened on a fake Facebook account or the Kik app for instance.

As you know, there's a lot of scams like this but my question assumes that the situation isn't a scam. So for the sake of example, please assume that there is no scam and that the situation is 100% real.

Would you tell this guy to calm down, or that he should wait till the statue of limitations (7 years I guess) for this kind of thing is over, for example? He is legitimately considering hanging himself because his parents live in the US and he doesn't want his mom to see him behind bars for something he did 2 years ago. I talked him out of hanging himself recently and told him that nothing is going to happen and he should breathe easy. But he's genuinely afraid and keeps getting paranoid. If you have noticed, I keep posting here about related subjects trying to find answers for this guy. He contacted a lawyer who basically said that the chances he will be prosecuted are slim but not impossible. This even made him more paranoid. It could be a scam and it could be a 50 year old man who lied and said he's an 18 year old female, but I want to take a worst case scenario to calm my friend down and tell him the worst consequences possible. (Assume he owns the router and Wi-Fi connection but the rent is registered with another family member's name)

Thank you.

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    I would hypothetically have him understand that the girl involved committed a greater crime of distrubuting child pornography. Girls have been prosecuted for this when sexting with others. It really may not be in the interest of this imaginary girl to file a claim, let alone have the police involved Commented Sep 10, 2017 at 11:04
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    If this is truly a real situation, then this site is the wrong place to seek help. We can give general information about the law, but not legal advice on specific situations - that has to come from a lawyer. (From what you say, it sounds like the person is also in need of a mental health intervention - I hope you can help him find the help he needs.) Commented Sep 10, 2017 at 22:47
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    @AlexanderA: I do not know anything about Turkish law in this area, nor any lawyers, and I don't think you're going to find anyone on this site who does. We cannot give legal advice on specific situations - that's practicing law without a license, and it's illegal. However, I think that mental health help is much more critical right now than a lawyer. Please stop wasting time here and do something that will really help. Commented Sep 12, 2017 at 14:02
  • @ShazamoMorebucks What illegal act did the guy commit to begin with? The only answer I can think of is: “Encouraging an underage person to produce and distribute child pornography, then accessing that child pornography.” (at least under US law – consensual adult pornography should be protected speech) So I can’t understand your comment: “I would hypothetically have him understand that the girl involved committed a greater crime of distrubuting child pornography.” (emphasis added) Greater than what? Commented Nov 12, 2020 at 4:31
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    Possession of child pornography is illegal. Him receiving the girls nudes would count as this as the picture needs to be downloaded onto his machine before it is viewed Commented Nov 13, 2020 at 2:21

3 Answers 3


There are several elements working in your friend's favor. The first is "guilty beyond a reasonable doubt." In an entrapment case, the police have recordings or documents claiming that the "girl" was underaged. If there is no such smoking gun from the (real) girl, the case (probably) would not be prosecuted in the U.S. He doesn't have to prove that she told him she was 18; "she" (or the police) has to prove that she told him she was "not."

The second factor is "remoteness" in time, and distance. Two years after a U.S. state sent me a "nasty letter," I asked my lawyer if the state would ever come after me. He answered, "If they were going to do this, you would have heard further by now." The other factor, distance and cross border, (three countries: Turkey, the U.S., his home country) further militates against prosecution except for highly aggravating circumstances such as drug dealing, gambling, or sex for pay.

A third factor is that your friend would not come close to qualifying as a "serious offender." This would be someone like a drug dealer, or the head of a "call girl" ring. The cops concentrate their effects on big "busts" like this that make their careers, not "small fry" like your friend. But of course they use the publicity from the big catches to scare everyone else.

While there is no "guarantee" against "the worst possible consequences," the chances of them happening are similar to his getting hit by lightening, and less than his chances of being hit by a car crossing the street. No one stresses out about those chances. He shouldn't either.

I am not a lawyer but I have done paralegal work in a law office.

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    @AlexanderA: Even if Turkish laws are less defendent-friendly, U.S. authorities would prosecute under U.S. law. If an IP address is shared by several people, "no one" can be charged. There was a murder case in the U.S. where DNA tests showed that it was done by one of two identical twins. So if you punished both of them, the chances of getting it right would be 50-50.But since this is "proof beyond a reasonable doubt" they had to let both go.
    – Libra
    Commented Sep 10, 2017 at 17:17
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    @AlexanderA: No, it's the other way around, like the case of the murderer being one of two identical twins with the same DNA. The more people that use the same WiFi, the harder it is to pin the blame on one person. You can't just prove that one of two or three or four is guilty, you have to prove THE one. 50-50 doesn't allow "preponderance of evidence" (the civil standard) let alone "reasonable doubt," (the 95% criminal standard).
    – Libra
    Commented Sep 11, 2017 at 8:46

There are some principles that apply here. First, is this a situation where the USA would in principle consider to prosecute the person? Second, is this a situation where in principle Turkey would consider to extradite the person? Third, is this particular situation one where the USA would find it worthwhile asking for extradition, and where Turkey would think it is right to extradite?

Most countries prosecute crimes happening in their country. The USA prosecutes some crimes happening outside the USA, but mostly in situations where US citizens commit those crimes, and where the USA feels the other country would possibly not prosecute. But mostly they say that crimes happening outside the USA are not their business. Let's say that young women travelled to Turkey and the man murdered her there, the USA would not try to prosecute and rely on Turkey to handle this.

In this situation, there would be the question whether the man has been sexting in the USA or Turkey (legally). If, according to US law, the man's crime happened in the USA, then the USA would think it should be prosecuted in the USA. Then if a prosecutor would decide that it is worth the effort, they would ask for extradition. If the USA said the crime happened in Turkey, there would be no US prosecution and they wouldn't ask for extradition.

Turkey would decide whether sexting is a crime at all according to Turkish law, and whether according to Turkish law the crime happened in the USA. If the answer is "No" to either question, then most countries would not extradite. (For example, if according to Turkish law the thing was only a crime if you knew the other person was under 18, they wouldn't extradite).

If in principle this was a situation where Turkey might extradite, then they will also want to see enough evidence that the case should go to court, they would want to know that there would be a fair trial, and at last such a decision might, depending on the countries involved, depend on political considerations.

Of course there would be the risk for this man that Turkey would prosecute him themselves.


My brother mistakenly got involved 3 years ago in a sort of similar thing, except in reverse (sexting with an overseas girl slightly under 18). He was embarrassed but was so worried that he told me.

The girl's parents or family found out about dirty pics sent back and forth and called the police and I guess they filed a criminal complaint in their country. He was scared to death. But he had never done anything else wrong except for traffic tickets.

He consulted a lawyer and as I understand it was advised basically, sure you could get busted for child porn or even extradited or something like that, but the chances are awfully remote, unless there's something way bigger going on. I.e. they're trying to use their resources to find real criminals, not just some random guy who made a small booboo. Bro never got a knock on the door or a target letter from the feds so the whole thing just kind of faded away.

I'm sure similar stuff happens zillions of times. But of course you never know for sure if they would come after you. I'm sure the age does matter too -- a 12 year old would be way different than someone just under 18. Not legally -- both are clearly against the law -- I just mean as far as whether they'd go to the mat. At any rate, if there's doubt about someone's age obviously don't do it.


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