A North Carolina teenager faces five felony counts and could also face several years in prison, all because he had nude photos of himself and his girlfriend on his phone.

“Most people think of sex crimes as something that is against somebody’s will,” Charlotte sex crimes Attorney Miranda Mills said, noting that, in this case, the two teens were in a consensual relationship, but the outdated North Carolina sex offender laws don’t take changing technology into account.

Cormega Copening, who is 17, faces five counts of felony exploitation of a minor (his girlfriend is 16) as well as child pornography for the pictures, which were taken consensually.

“We’re talking about an individual who has taken photographs and possesses photographs of their own body,” Mills said. “Now, if he had sent the photos to another student and she didn’t know about it, then that would be distribution of child pornography,” she said.


The 16-year-old girl, Brianna Denson, took a plea deal back in July and was sentenced to one year of probation. Copening’s appearance is next month.