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Sexting can lead to criminal charges. That’s the message the Texas attorney general is trying to send to teens and parents.

According to Attorney General Greg Abbott, more and more teens are using their cell phones to send sexual text messages or images.

He says it can lead to trouble.

Abbott said anyone caught with sexual images of a minor can face up to 10 years in prison.

Sending out sexual images can also have consequences that last for decades.

A recent survey by the National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy also found almost 20 percent of people who receive these messages share them with another person. A single image can be forwarded uncontrollably.

Megan Guilbeaux counsels teens about the dangers of sexting. She said many teens feel pressured by their partners, but the sexual images can end up becoming a way to control the relationship.

“So many teens are really so scared that their parents are going to find these pictures that they would rather stay in this abusive relationship than the pictures come out to their parents,” Guilbeaux said.

Abbott encourages parents and schools to communicate with teens about the dangers of sexting.

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