Elijah is a smart 15-year-old boy that some would call a bit of a loner; he has a close group of friends at school but is not the most popular by any means. After graduation, he dreams of joining the US Marines like his father. He is a good kid, with strong morals, and his parents are very proud to have him as their son.
Having difficulty finding a girlfriend at his school, he decided to look online for affection and stumbled across an online social media app called Kik. On Kik, people can talk to random strangers and become friends with them.
Quickly Elijah made friends with a girl named Stephanie. She was 14 and lived a few hours away from him. Over a period of a few days, they both struck up a friendship and would chat every night into the wee hours of the morning.
Looking at Stephanie's profile picture, Elijah could see she was a brunette, with a pretty smile, and wore glasses. She was a little nerdy-looking, but in his eyes, she was beautiful. It did not take long, and Elijah was falling for Stephanie. She was the first girl ever to be attracted to him, and this filled him with excitement.
Late on a Saturday night, Stephanie asked Elijah for a picture of him without his shirt. He sent her one and asked for pictures of her in return. The conversation turned more sexual, and it was not long before Elijah and Stephanie were exchanging nude photographs. At the request of Stephanie, this escalated into Elijah sending videos of him bathing in the shower and a few times of him masturbating.
The problem was Stephanie, was not who she said she was. In fact, she was not a she at all; instead, Stephanie was actually an adult man, and Elijah was a victim of catfishing.
The photographs the man was claiming was Stephanie in his chats with Elijah were previously stolen revenge pornography photos. Now two victims are being victimized, Elijah and this unnamed young lady that had her photos posted online.
This cyber creep also uploaded Elijah's pictures and videos to numerous online forums that specialize in nude content of underage boys.
Elijah was the victim twice in this situation.
It is important to note here that while Elijah did willingly take the photos and videos in question, he never intended for his pictures and videos to be shared online with strangers. He thought he was speaking with a young lady his age, and had no idea he was being catfished by an adult male predator.
No matter how you feel personally on the subject of teenagers sexting, it happens and ignoring it does not fix the problem.
He is the victim and should be treated as such. Nobody deserves to be disrespected and treated like this.