It can lead to public on social media, embarrassment, the loss of a job, loss of future job opportunities, or even the loss of respect of friends and family.
She pleaded guilty to two counts of second degree statutory rape and was sentenced to four years in jail and an official sex offender designation.
But, we also see the life-upending toll sexting can have when things go wrong.
Even if internet publication of a nude photo does not have drastic consequences at age 18, it may ruin your life when you are 26 and trying to land a career to support your family.
In case you have not heard of sextortion before, it is a form of blackmail in which sexual images or videos are used to extort money from the victim.
The affair came to light when Mahoney and the student were caught engaging in a sexual act at a local pizza parlor and the student involved also bragged about the relationship to his friends.