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Nude photos leak: McKayla Maroney's lawyers say she was underage, so: child porn

It would appear that the massive celebrity nude photo hack and leak that hit the Internet via 4Chan this weekend picked up and displayed a few pictures that double-downed on the illegalities. For instance, as Olympic gymnast McKayla Maroney's lawyers were quick to point out, she wasn't yet 18 years of age in a few of those photos, which makes them -- in essence and in the eyes of the law -- child pornography. As TMZ reported Sept. 3, Maroney's legal team was quick to issue cease and desist notices to several websites showing the hacked nude photos.

To cut to the chase: McKayla Maroney turned 18 in December. In short, any of the photos, if taken prior to her eighteenth birthday, were of an underaged young woman, the viewing, downloading, posting, and transmission of which is illegal and constitutes prosecutable offenses in court. Backed by the constitution, ethics, and morality, one of Maroney's attorneys sent a letter to Porn.com informing them of the gymnast's age in some of those posted photos. According to TMZ, the letter demanding that the porn site take down the hacked photos immediately.

Another attorney was also going after the illicit posts. A letter was sent to multiple websites that stated that Maroney owned the copyright to the hacked photos on their sites (another illegality among the many in this tale of Internet offensiveness).

But wait... Didn't McKayla Maroney take to Twitter, like actress/singer Victoria Justice and Ariana Grande, to protest that the hacked nude photos of her were not really her? Quick answer: Yes, she did.

TMZ speculated that the legal activity was a "strong indication" that the photos hacked and disseminated through various websites, then ultimately appearing on sites like Porn.com, were authentic. But the celebrity gossip site allowed that portions of the photos could real, while parts were not. TMZ noted tha the legal letter was not specific in that regard.

A representative for the porn site told TMZ that they removed all the McKayla Maroney photos as soon as they received the letter.

Apparently, though, Maroney isn't alone in having underaged nude photos hacked. MTV starlet Liz Lee is said in some Reddit feeds to have been underage in some of the photos reported to be of her. The revelation sparked a frantic debate on how users could eliminate already downloaded photos.

At the same time, although there are plenty of individuals willing to look at free celebrity nude photos, leaked or otherwise, most would not willingly engage in child pornography. In fact, the Daily Dot reports that "efforts to advise users how to 'remove all record of their criminal activity' is "aiding and abetting" a crime.