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IN Supreme Court upholds law banning adults from sending sexually explicit photos to minors

Posted at 3:42 PM, Oct 02, 2017

INDIANAPOLIS – The Indiana Supreme Court has upheld a state law on sexually explicit photographs that landed a former North Central High School teacher in jail last year.


The court unanimously ruled that a law barring the sending of sexually explicit pictures to minors is constitutional, reversing a trial judge’s ruling in the case of Sameer Thakar. Thakar was arrested in February 2016 by Fishers Police after a tip from the FBI.


Thakar was charged with sending a picture of his anatomy to a 16-year-old girl in Oregon using Skype. At the time, he was in his first year as a teacher at North Central High – he was subsequently fired by Washington Township Schools.


Thakar’s attorneys argued that the law governing explicit photographs was unconstitutional, because the age of sexual consent in Indiana is 16. They argued that it was “confusing” for the state to allow actual sexual activity involving a 16-year-old while banning the transmission of sexual images to someone the same age.


A trial judge agreed with Thakar and tossed out the charge, a ruling upheld by the state Court of Appeals. But the Supreme Court reversed both, with Justice Mark Massa writing that the law “clearly protects minors under the age of 18 from the dissemination of matter harmful to them. Whether this inconsistent statutory treatment of minors aged 16 and 17 is advisable with respect to sexually-related activity is a matter for the legislature.”


Thakar’s case will return to trial court for a new hearing.


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