Virginia Teen Gets Probation in Sexting Case; Child Pornography Counts May Be Dismissed After a Year

A Virginia teenager has been given a year of probation in a sexting case that once included a search warrant for a photograph of his genitals.

A judge on Friday placed 17-year-old Trey Sims on probation and said he would consider dismissing the two child pornography counts against the teen if he stays free of trouble for a year. The judge said he didn’t want to see Sims start out his adult life with a felony conviction, reported WRC-TV in Washington, D.C., adding that there was no declaration of guilt or innocence.

Trey Sims (Image source: WRC-TV)
Trey Sims (Image source: WRC-TV)

The case drew attention because police at one point sought to take pictures of the teen’s erect penis in order to prove the case against him.

Police and prosecutors faced criticism, and police later said they would not seek the photos. Police wanted the pictures to compare against images he is accused of sending to his then-girlfriend, who was 15 at the time.

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The probation comes with several stipulations: Sims is prohibited from texting, using social media or using the internet for the year. He also must complete 100 hours of community service and cannot contact the victim or the victim’s family.

Sims will not be placed on the sex registry or sex offender list. In a year, if he abides by all the stipulations, all charges could be dismissed.

“It’s been hard, these past couple of months,” Sims told WRC. “Hard on my family, hard on me.”

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Friday in court, the prosecution put forward several of the pictures allegedly exchanged between Sims and his former girlfriend. The alleged victim’s mother even took the stand, pointing out her daughter in some of the photos.

But the defense argued that no one could prove it was Sims in those explicit pictures — or that he sent them, even though they came from his phone.

The case commenced with the victim’s mother contacting police, saying Sims sent her 15-year-old daughter “pornographic videos” even “after repeatedly being told to stop,” WRC reported.

This story has been updated.

The Associated Press contributed to this story.