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Benda didn’t question his 17-year-old girlfriend when she took a naked picture of herself in the mirror on his cellphone. “I didn’t think.” Now, her former boyfriend is facing serious consequences.The photo is a reflection of her and Benda, his hands covering her body. The girl later told a Dakota County judge that she had forgotten about the picture until police came to her house and asked about it. Benda was convicted of felony child-pornography possession and is awaiting sentencing.Such a legal arrangement is called a stay of adjudication.It means a defendant won’t be adjudicated as guilty, as long as he or she complies with the court’s conditions.Teens and young adults sometimes aren’t aware of the possible criminal consequences of dating someone underage, attorneys say.What seems like a high school romance can lead to a felony conviction and having to register as a sexual offender.
But no organized movement exists in the state to change the laws.
5, 2015: Samuel Benda, now 21, was charged in 2011 with possession of child pornography for having a nude photo of his 17-year-old high school girlfriend on his cellphone, taken on the night of their prom.