After distributing a cell phone picture of a 15-year-old engaged in a sexual act, Ryan Anthony Modaffare, Gregory Alan Kwapik, and Nicholas Gene Kelly have been sentenced to three years without cellphone usage.
The Internet has been a growing concern for many parents. These days, one quick picture put online can have rippling effects. Teenagers make mistakes. However, now with the Internet, their mistakes can display for the world to see.
The Tragic Event
The event took place at the 15-year-old girl’s home sometime around Thanksgiving. CBSDetroit reported that Gregory Kwapik and Nicholas Kelly were both engaged in a unspecified sex act with the girl. During that time Ryan Moaffare took the picture.
The picture was sent to others and then ended up on Twitter. MacombDaily.com reported that the photo was taken without the girls knowledge. Just to be clear, it is illegal to transmit a sexual image of an underage person.
On December 30th, 2014 Kwapik and Kelly who are both 17 years old, and Modaffare who is 18 years old were arrested.
Kwapik and Kelly were both charged with third-degree criminal sexual conduct. The charge is punishable by 15 years in prison.
Modaffare was charged with child sexual abusive activity – distributing or promotion. This charge is punishable by 7 years in prison.
“What we see is sometimes these students, you know, just aren’t thinking; and whether they think it’s going to be a joke or they’re doing it for a vindictive reason…once they take that picture of a minor and start sending it around, they are committing a felony,” Sheriff Anthony Wickersham said.
Modaffare plead guilty to distribution of child sexual abusive activity.
Kwapik plead guilty to third degree criminal sexual conduct.
Kelly plead guilty to one count of both distribution of child sexual abusive activity and third degree criminal sexual conduct.
While the teens can petition the courts after a year to gain access, all three were sentenced to three years without cellphone usage. All three are prohibited from contacting each as well as the victim. Kwapki and Kelly were sentenced to a sex offender treatment program.
The teenagers will not have to register as sex offenders and if they are able to stay out of trouble The Detroit News reports that their records will be wiped clean under the Holmes Youthful Trainee Act.
The Holmes Youthful Trainee Act allows youth between 17 and 20 years of age to avoid a criminal record by pleading guilty and being placed in prison or probation without conviction.
The “Romeo and Juliet” Law
Kawpik will not face sex offender registration due to the “Romeo and Juliet” Law. The law exempts offenders from the registry if the victim is 13-16 years of age and the offender is only 5 years older and the act was voluntary.
What Do You Think?
What do you think of the sentence? Do you think giving the teens a second chance through the probation was the right choice? Let me know your thoughts in the comment section below.