Teen facing felony child porn charges for self-sexting accepts plea deal

WABC logo
Tuesday, September 22, 2015
EMBED <>More Videos

Shirleen Allicot has the story

A star North Carolina high school quarterback is making headlines, but not for his plays on the field.

Seventeen-year-old Cormega Copening had been facing felony child pornography charges for allegedly sexually exploiting a minor -- himself. But now, as part of the plea agreement, those charge were dropped, leaving two misdemeanor counts of disseminating harmful material to minors.

Copening faced up to 10 years in prison after police say they discovered nude images of himself. He was 16 at the time he took the pictures with his then 16-year-old girlfriend.

The police discovered the photos on his cellphone while investigating an unrelated claim of sexting at his school last October.

Neither Copening nor the young woman shared the photos further, but authorities are charging the pair as adults because they are now 17.

They are charged with multiple counts of making and possessing images of their under aged 16-year-old selves, making each of them both the predator and the victim.

The young woman took a plea deal in July, and earlier this month, Copening's lawyer began fighting for the charges to be reduced, saving the teen from prison time and pushing for his name to be taken off the sex offender registry.

Cormega and the girl have been ordered to do 30 hours of community services and will not be allowed to have a cell phone for a year.

If they comply, their records will be wiped clean.