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Suppose that a person who is 22 years old and is an Algerian citizen has been sexting a minor who is 16 years old living in the UK. Can the Algerian be prosecuted, and if so for what?

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  • Where is the 22yo physically resident? Algeria or the UK or elsewhere? Has the minor sent serialized images of himself or herself to the 2yo? Has the 22 yo sent such images to the minor? Commented May 6, 2022 at 22:22
  • The 22 yo lives in Algeria , there were no pictures sent but there was intent Commented May 6, 2022 at 23:12

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The legal age of consent in the United Kingdom is 16 years old, and the legal age of consent in Algeria is also 16 years old so "sexting" itself would not be against the law. However, it is illegal in the UK "to take, or permit to be taken [..] any indecent photography of a child".

This counterintuitively also applies to a child (under 18 years of age) taking a photo of themselves, as the photo is considered "Indecent".

Within the UK prosecution of possessing, distributing, showing or making of indecent images of children isn't binary. Determining factors in potential prosecution are based on if (amongst other things):

There is reason to believe that a child or young person has been coerced, blackmailed or groomed, or there are concerns about their capacity to consent (for example, owing to special educational needs).

Source: gov.uk

If the adult was trying to repeatedly solicit a picture from the minor then it could come under the Protection of Children Act. It's a legal grey area where it really depends on if the minor was pressured into sending pictures for the purposes of exploitation, malicious intent, persistent behaviour. 'Outcome 21' allows police in the UK discretion to determine if such behaviour occurred and whether to take action against those involved.

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  • Note that according to a comment by the OP: "there were no pictures sent but there was intent" whatever may be meant by "intent". Does that alter the answer? Commented May 7, 2022 at 2:22
  • @DavidSiegel If the adult was trying to repeatedly solicit a picture from the minor then it could come under the Protection of Children Act. It's a legal grey area where it really depends on if the minor was pressured into sending pictures for the purposes of exploitation, malicious intent, persistent behaviour. 'Outcome 21' allows police in the UK discretion to determine if such behaviour occurred and whether to take action against those involved. Commented May 7, 2022 at 10:53
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    Thank you. I was not trying to suggest that this meant there was no issue, merely to point out a relevant circumstance. You may wish to edit your answer to mention the Protection of Children Act. In case you did not know, comments can be mush more freely deleted than questions or answers on this site, and it is good practice to edit significant info into an answer. Commented May 7, 2022 at 19:18
  • @DavidSiegel thank you for the feedback. Genuinely helpful. Commented May 9, 2022 at 12:40

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