Professor Watson Comments for Story on Teen Cell Phone Behavior


Professor Fran WatsonTeenagers at Avon High School who were caught sharing and storing nude photos of one another could have faced felony charges of child pornography and exploitation, but authorities declined to file charges. The issue points up a dilemma for police and school officials, especially since most teens don’t recognize their behavior could be considered a crime, said Professor Fran Watson.

“The kids of that age are of the computer age, of the phone age, none of us can change that,” Professor Watson said in the story that appeared in the Lafayette Journal & Courier on January 13, 2014. “They don’t know it’s conceivably a crime.”

That teens may not be aware of the consequences of their behavior doesn’t detract from the fact that according to Indiana law, the Avon students could have faced three to eight years in prison on each count. That’s when it’s up to county prosecutors to determine whether there’s probable cause in such cases, Professor Watson said in the story.

Professor Watson, ’80, is a clinical professor of law and co-director of IU McKinney’s clinical programs. She teaches in the criminal defense clinic and the wrongful conviction clinic.

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