Parents of teenager sue prosecutor to stall sexting charges

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DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — The parents of a 14-year-old Iowa girl are suing a county prosecutor to try to stop him from filing criminal charges against the teen after she sent suggestive photos of herself to a boy.

Marion County Attorney Ed Bull has threatened to charge the Knoxville girl with sexual exploitation of a minor or child pornography. Bull has said she can avoid the charge if she signs an admission of guilt, performs community service and temporarily gives up her laptop and cellphone.

The American Civil Liberties Union of Iowa says it filed the lawsuit Thursday to protect the girl’s rights to free speech and freedom of expression. The ACLU says the photos don’t show nudity and are not obscene.

The Associated Press left a message for Bull seeking comment Friday.