Grammy-nominated singer Ryan Adams is facing a slew of bad publicity and possibly criminal charges regarding thousands of texts and other explicit communications he allegedly exchanged with a teenage girl. The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) has reportedly gotten involved in the matter.
A recent article in The New York Times says that the 44-year-old singer and producer began communicating with the fan in 2013 when she was 15 -- sending her sexually-explicit texts and images of himself.
Federal law is clear about what constitutes child pornography. However, state laws vary throughout the country. If the adult and the minor are in two different states (as was allegedly the case with Adams and the teen), things can get more complicated.
The communications described in the article could fall under the child pornography federal statutes, which refer to sending depictions of "sexually explicit conduct" to anyone under 18 via Skype, text, Snapchat and other messaging platforms. It's also a federal crime to send a sexually explicit image of oneself to anyone under 16.
Whether an adult was aware of the true age of a minor with whom they were communicating or who is depicted in these images could be a factor in what legal ramifications they face.
Adams has denied the accuracy of the article. He issued a statement in which he said that "the picture that this article paints is upsettingly inaccurate." He said, "Some of its details are misrepresented; some are exaggerated; some are outright false. I would never have inappropriate interactions with someone I thought was underage. Period."
Child pornography charges on both the federal and state level are serious. Even first-time offenders can face at least 15 years behind bars and be required to register as a sex offender. If you're facing these charges, it's essential to seek experienced legal guidance.