This comment explores the possible scenarios in which sexting could give rise to prosecution under Protection of Children Against Sexual Exploitation Act of 1977 (“PCASEA”) for transporting, distributing, receiving, or possessing child pornography.2 Part II provides background information on the practice and prevalence of sexting. Part III discusses the definition of child pornography within the meaning of federal law and applies that definition to sexting. Part IV presents the concept of the transporting or shipping in interstate or foreign commerce jurisdictional hook and its potential relation to sexting. Part V applies the principles of statutory interpretation to the relevant provisions of the PCASEA to determine the proper application of the statute’s current jurisdictional language. Part VI discusses the application of sexting to the particular offenses of transporting, distributing, receiving, or possessing child pornography under the PCASEA, including distinct jurisdictional issues for each offense.3 Part VII delineates issues that are collateral to the jurisdictional question, but that are necessarily raised by attempting to resolve it. Part VIII concludes that prosecution of child pornography offenses committed through sexting is within the purview of the PCASEA and future judicial interpretations of the PCASEA will result in broad subject matter jurisdiction to do so.
Isaac A. McBeth, Comment, Prosecute the Cheerleader, Save the World?: Asserting Federal Jurisdiction Over Child Pornography Crimes Committed Through “Sexting”, 44 U. Rich. L. Rev. 1327 (2010).