Fayetteville teen takes plea deal in sexting case

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Cormega Copening

A high school quarterback has agreed to a plea deal that will get him out of felony charges that could have seen him forced to register as a sex offender.

Cormega Zyon Copening, 17, faced charges of sexual exploitation of a minor because of photos found on his cell phone. Investigators said the teen and his girlfriend were sexting images to each other and the photos were discovered during an investigation of another case.

The charges stem from an incident last October and the couple was charged in February.

Copening transferred to Jack Britt High School this school year and was starting quarterback for the Buccaneers August 21 game. He was benched while school officials investigated the allegations, but he has been reinstated.

Investigators said the sexting happened while Copening was a student at Douglas Byrd High School last year.

Authorities say in North Carolina it is illegal for anyone under 18 to send or receive sexually explicit photos with a cell phone and many teens don't realize the seriousness of the charges such behavior could bring.

As part of the plea agreement, all felony charges against Copening were dropped. He agreed to two misdemeanor counts of disseminating harmful material to minors.

He was sentenced to a year of probation. If he completes that successfully, the charges could be completely dropped and his record cleared.

Copening's girlfriend has agreed to a similar plea deal.

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