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NC Teen Charged As Adult For Taking & Having Naked Pics of a Minor – Himself

Cormega Copening could be sentence to 10 years if convicted of sexual exploitation of a minor

Cormega Copening could be sentence to 10 years if convicted of sexual exploitation of a minor

A 17-year-old boy is facing 10 years in prison after being charged as an adult for having sexually explicit photos of a minor – himself.

Cormega Copening, from North Carolina, where the age of criminal responsibility is 16, is facing two counts of second-degree sexual exploitation and three counts of third-degree exploitation. The third-degree charges of sexual exploitation of a minor actually stem from the pictures Copening had of himself. Each count is a felony charge carrying at least two years in jail.

“In North Carolina you are considered an adult at 16 years old as far as being charged,” said Sgt. Sean Swain of the Cumberland County Sheriff’s Department. “But to disseminate and receive sexually explicit texts, photos or videos, you must be over 18.”

Authorities said the sexting charges came about when police took Copening’s phone while investigating another incident. Officers discovered ‘sext’ messages between Copening and his 16 year old girlfriend.

Both teenagers were charged as adults for the sexual exploitation of minors – themselves – for taking and possessing naked photos. His girlfriend took a plea deal on a misdemeanor charge of ‘disseminating harmful material to minors’.

District Court Judge Stephen Stokes sentenced her to one year of probation without access to a phone, a $200 fine, and a class on making smarter life decisions.

If convicted, Copening’s name would be added to sex offenders registry. He has a Sept. 30 court appearance.

The charges have resulted in the teenage quarterback being dropped from his high school football team.

What people are saying

101 thoughts on “NC Teen Charged As Adult For Taking & Having Naked Pics of a Minor – Himself

  1. "Both teenagers were charged as adults for the sexual exploitation of minors – themselves."


  2. Deven Brown says:

    So, the judge has decided to charge both teens as adults for a charge that is only applicable to minors. In other words, adults can't be charged with the particular offense. Doesn't this nullify the charges?

  3. I'm sure there are more pressing issues that the courts could involve themselves in than this. These are minors. This is a parental matter!

  4. This is by far one of the stupidest rulings I've heard. Teenagers do dumb things but to ruin a young persons life over this particular act is beyond unreasonable. Smh.

  5. Tim Barry says:

    Wow this is probably the most rediculous thing ever, but when someone saw the girl was white and the are in the south. If at age 17 living in the south he isn't aware of race relations in that part of the country, maybe he is too dumb to be out on the streets. Maybe he and his parents both need to be locked up.

  6. Yes, the charge is ridiculous. He needs to get ready for that sex offender conviction.

  7. I don't have to know a lick about this case to tell you the girl was white! Those officers saw a young white girl nude in this boys phone and lost it! Just another black boy getting his life ruined for a Becky smh be smart

  8. This is absolutely absurd. Teens all across the country are taking nude photos of themselves, as well as having sex, this shit has been happening since the beginning of time (minus the technology) The same Judge and cop that is representing this case, are the same teens that did it themselves when they were young, now ain't that some shit. Now we have cell phones. More and more each day big G takes control.. Set your alarms and wake up everybody.

  9. My understanding is that the charge is for adults and is meant to punish adults who sexually prey on minors (like if a middle-aged teacher was exchanging nudes with a sophomore student, for example). It's "sexual exploitation" because minors can't consent. But yes, to charge a minor as an adult for a crime the minor couldn't legally consent to anyway, all under a law that was supposed to protect said minor in the first place, is incredibly contradictory.

  10. She's not white actually

  11. Haha! Race getting dragged into this for no reason whatsoever. Good job hahaha

  12. Muhawa Naani says:

    This is the affliction of race based and wealth based sentencing that black lives matter is talking about.

  13. David Reid says:

    So this rogue judge decides to destroy two lives (who is going to hire, rent an apartment to, etc a sex offender) just to prove he is a tough guy? This is the riduculous stuff that drives up the crime rate for young black males. He is basically condeming him for life. Why not just sentence them to community service to send a message? Judges like this should be brought up on impeachment charges to send a message to them.

  14. Dave Mills says:

    Where are the Black people who work in the Government Legal Departments when you need them! help, and publish the similar cases and convictions, if they differ from a case of 2 white Minors, charged with the same thing let us know!!! Don't stay silent on this.

  15. Ced Wynez says:

    Wow this one of the dumbest rulings in American history. This system is truly fucked up

  16. 2 more black youth ruined by Babylon.

  17. Evan Lewis says:

    Not white, and wasn't released. She decided to take a plea. Consequences for him more dire. He'd be on a sex offender list for taking pictures of himself. They're ruining both lives not just his. Charges still stupid.

  18. school to prison system at work

  19. Let me get this straight… A 17 year old took selfies of himself nude. And, because he is past 16 years old, he will be charged with having pictures of himself, a felony. Now he is an adult for having the pictures and being older than 16 but a minor when he took them. And he faces ten years and is subject to being on the sex offenders list and a life time of abuse and harrasment. And this is the South. So answer this, "do it seem to you that "Black Lives Matter to anybody but Blacks in this country?"

  20. Jim Brewsky: Don't have to lose money on that bet. That's why we can't afford the generic version, All lives matter, but the specific, "Does Black Lives Matter to This Country." Because it certainly doesn't seem like it.

  21. "Do Black Lives Matter to treachery?" No!!!!

  22. Courtney Delagraentiss: Worst.. If it were a Caucasian Female, he would be facing the death penalty.

  23. Ian Stephenson: Heard of any other cases.. i'll let you know what my search turn-up.

  24. Marcus Green says:

    This is why I'm done with America

  25. This is fuckery at it's best!

  26. So they are charged as adults for taking pictures of minors who are considered adults? Interesting……

  27. This fucking stupid – how can they be minors AND adults – one should cancel out the other and they need to give their boners for putting black kids in jail a cold shower.

  28. sooo at !6 theyre considered adults in NC but still are Minors?? so him and his girlfriend are both considered adults but are also minors but are being charged for sending pictures of themselves to one another as adults in NC but are considered minors because they have to be over the age of 18 to sext basically??? and he would be added to the sex affenders list for his own body parts thats fucked up

  29. Cheyenne Callahan: I understood what you said. LOL.

  30. North carolina hick state…im not surprised…judge should be thrown in jail for stupidity.

  31. Shes Black, and guess who looks like the dumbass racist now mister Tunde.

  32. This is so stupid, 10 years. Really? The government is out of control. Why ruin this kids life for trying to get some booty. This is a prime example of political correctness gone haywire. And they let the girl off easy too, wow real shocker there.

  33. Which just happen to be me, no wait not me but them which are babies until they look at the picture, which is an adult move done by children who are immature until they look at themselves which is a felony. I'm so confused. Can they look in the mirror after taking a bath together which is an adult move unless it's healthy to explore… to held with it. More lives ruined…

  34. Todd Ewing: It would… unfortunately. Possible death sentence… Yes, I'm being facetious. Bt the young boy can receive ten years…

  35. Jasmine Johnson: …and stupid. But it is on tthe books and the morality police has spoken. Pitiful…

  36. This is bullshit,they say ur an adult at 16 n the girl is 16 n he is 17 .smfh they r both adults .so why r they trying to fuck up his life for sexting with an adult ?

  37. Beyond ridiculous! Of course this case made headlines all because of the policies (clearly needs to be reviewed) in place for NC had ignorant senators! If they convict him, this will sure enough prove jail count in getting low. SMH!

  38. Hannah Dodd says:

    This is outrageous and sickening. Are they also going to charge these kids with viewing pornographic material if they look at themselves naked?

  39. Hannah Dodd says:

    Oh, and also racist. How many white teens sext and don't get arrested for it?

  40. I'm dying to see what jared fogle the subway guy gets?

  41. You gotta be crackin jokes….anything to fill those prison cells and get the money!$!$! Smh!

  42. This is fooliness and crazy the pictures are of his self. They really need to stop it's not the photo's it's because he is black!!

  43. Merica, Finding any and literally every excuse to lock-up and criminalize people of color since forever.

  44. Zachary Stein: Do we have to come up with a new term for this nonsense. How about ~ LOGICAL ILLOGIC PROGRESSION ~ which appears to be nonsense to me or ~ILLOGICAL LOGICAL PROGRESSION~ which also seem like nonsense. Please don't tell me these terms are already in existence. LOL…

  45. Tommy Lee says:

    Hate for minority is deep rooted in this stat anyth any means to use the justice system to destroy minorities Many schools, and even an entire school system, were shut down in 1958 and 1959 in attempts to block integration.

  46. InMy Opinion says:

    Hannah Dodd We dont see a picture of the young lady, but my hunch is she is caucasion. Her parents complained. He's black…therefore we have a court case.

  47. Barry Organ says:

    He should get the same puniment that the girl get . No jail time

  48. Barry Organ says:

    So if we're gonna put these two young people in jail for pictures . Would they have to put young girls and boys in jail for having a baby's

  49. Hey Zachary… Can you come up with a definition to copy right? Humor. So, if anybody come up with a use for it, we will get paid. I heard copy righting thoughts is the going thing. Humor…

  50. Our tax dollars wasted and yall wonder why Hussein loved blowing shit up smh

  51. Sav Aun says:

    "Let the girl off easy", so what are you implying?

  52. Sav Aun says:

    Tyrone Bruce Palm I guess I can't look at pics of developing body anymore ;)…. Now how will I clearly which areas I need to workout more?

  53. Sav Aun says:

    Alice Sudano This why it's NEVER smart to assume. Don't say anything about anything unless you know the facts. That goes for all of you, not just the guy who commented.

  54. Angie Mays says:

    So, I wonder what charge will he get for bathing himself since he is now a sex offender for taking pics of himself. The judge is a coon.

  55. So hold on… If you, as a 16 year old sent to and received naked photos from a 30 year old, you would have two criminal charges against you? And what the 30 year old did would be perfectly legal because you are an adult!? This is what happens when you try to legislate morality and clearly have morons trying to execute it!

  56. Mike Okeefe says:

    No, a 30 year old can't receive sext messages from a 16 year old minor. The 30 year old would also be in trouble in the scenario you described.

  57. Did he give police permission to search his phone? He must have. The Supreme Court ruled 9-0 more than a year ago that police cannot search cell phones without a warrant. The lesson here is NEVER give consent to a cop to look at your phone, and especially if you have a bunch of naked selfies on your phone.

  58. This is a form of entrapment. Why were their cellphones examined? What law allows this kind of invasion of privacy? The pictures were shared consensually, and the law in this case has fallen behind the culture. Of course kids would be taking nude selfies and playing with their cameras! This must not end in jail.

  59. Nothing but racism here.

  60. Just go to the damn courthouse, listen to the facts.

  61. Kim Harris says:

    This just takes absurd and utterly ridiculous to a whole new level! Not to mention it is a contradiction in terms of dynamics. One minute they are considered minors.. but the next they are considered adults? Really? They can't have it both ways…. The law is being manipulated in order to wrongfully bring charges against these teens. And it should be illegal to charge anyone with having naked pictures of themselves. I understand that we should protect our children, but not like this. Who is going to protect this young man from unfair and trumped up charges? It's moments like these that demonstrate that the law and the people who misuse it are both clearly have issues.. and it needs to change to prevent miscarriages of justice in the name of "doing the right thing."

  62. So, the age of consent in NC is 16 (so you can have sex with anyone, of any age, as long as they aren't in a position of authority over you), the age of criminal responsibility is 16 (you can be tried as an adult), but the age at which you can posess and view pornography is 18? How does this make sense in any way?

  63. Jon May says:

    So at 16 you have the mental faculties to be tried as an adult, suggesting that you know exactly what you are doing, yet you still don't have the mental faculties to consent to taking sexual images of yourself? Ok America

  64. Rick Webster says:

    Is it illegal to look at yourself in the mirror too? Or simply to look down in the shower?

  65. Adam Nash says:

    Is this an "onion" article? This is insanity. What is the purpose of this?

  66. What were they doing searching his phone? Did they have a search warrant? My family better get rid of all those old baby pictures of all of us I suppose. No, wait, I don't live in NC so I guess we are safe.

  67. This is what racism in action looks like.

  68. Frank Crewe says:

    Mike Okeefe But the 30 year old could have actual sex with the 16 year old as long as the 16 year old consents. That's even more ridiculous.

  69. Ronald Ibach says:

    Seems like the prosecutor and cops should plead insanity if they carry this case forward. Are there not enough real crimes for them to waste their resources on. Oh wait, he's black. We'll never mind.

  70. Wil Ebl says:

    Sexism not racism. Notice how the female got the lesser charges? wake up

  71. Wil Ebl says:

    Female privilege 101. wake up

  72. Wil Ebl She took a plea deal, dumbass. If she'd fought like she should have and gone to trial, the charges might well have been dropped because this is a STUPID case.

  73. Does that mean he cannot look at himself naked in the mirror ???
    Will he be committing a crime then ???

  74. Come on he's a kid. This is just crazy.

  75. We are impotent when we choose to do nothing about injustice whether it be domestic or international Silence is consent.

  76. Karl Clarke says:

    If he is convicted it will not be just 10 years, it will be a life sentence, no one ever gets off the registry alive. His life will be one without any hope left, for being young and dumb and living in the south while black. Southerners, they just love defending their women with a good lynching, literally or figuratively.

  77. Karl Clarke says:

    Ruined for LIFE. He can never get away from the regisrty no matter what he does.

  78. Rick Webster says:

    Tabitha House It's a private matter that the state has no business being involved in. Sex is a normal part of the human experience. There are 7 billion people on earth, the result of at least 70 billion sexual liasons. Why act like it's such a dirty dirty thing? And the fact is, things like sexting laws do far more harm than good.

  79. One of the dumbest things I've ever heard.

  80. what? did you miss the part where they found his nude pictures on her phone after charging her with the same crime?

  81. "Authorities said the sexting charges came about when police took Copening’s phone while investigating another incident. Officers discovered ‘sext’ messages between Copening and his 16 year old girlfriend.

    Both teenagers were charged as adults for the sexual exploitation of minors – themselves – for taking and possessing naked photos."

  82. *sigh*
    "Authorities said the sexting charges came about when police took Copening’s phone while investigating another incident. Officers discovered ‘sext’ messages between Copening and his 16 year old girlfriend.

    Both teenagers were charged as adults for the sexual exploitation of minors – themselves – for taking and possessing naked photos."

  83. no but this has the potential to become a loophole for child pornography. A lot of teens are sexually active at 13 or younger. Would you want your 13-y/o taking nude pictures of themselves to send to people?

  84. Tabitha House Prosecuting minors for taking pictures of themselves, which then may be used by adult predators, smacks of victim blaming. I get that law enforcment wants to discourage teens from sexting, but if a minor is being exploited and knows that they will face a legal penalty for taking/distributing pics of themselves, they'll be less likely to seek help from authorities.

  85. yeah I don't know about a 30 year old and a 16 year old in a relationship. As far as I understood (and I could be totally wrong) age of consent applies to relationships with people within two years of your own age and that probably doesn't mean younger. So that clears a 16/18 relationship and 17/19 but not 16/30

  86. Criminalizing normal teen sexuality and their right's to ownership of their own bodies and their own consensual sexual activites is unacceptable in a "free" society!

  87. Paul Healy says:

    And I can imagine the cops and the judge have been looking at those pictures more than just the once. Young kids just experimenting and having silly fun together. We used to play a game called "Dare, Kiss, Truth, or Promise.
    That always got a bit naughty…….

  88. Prison Industries must be low on young, healthy, fit workers. Have to keep that cash flow comming.

  89. What the actual fuck, is this a satire article?

  90. Even kids have to suffer consequences for their action. Now I do not believe that he should be listed as a sex offender, but I can't say that I disagree with possible sentencing, just not 10 years.

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