ACLU Sues Penn Prosecutor For Empty Threat of Child Porn

Bob Hubbard

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ACLU Sues Penn Prosecutor For Empty Threat of Child Porn on Friday March 27, @02:14PM


Posted by ScuttleMonkey on Friday March 27, @02:14PM
from the can't-ever-get-them-back dept.

TechDirt is reporting that the ACLU has stepped in on behalf of several teens facing the threat of child pornography in Pennsylvania for sharing of nude pics of themselves. Unfortunately for a girl in New Jersey she is facing much more than just a threat as she was arrested yesterday for posting almost 30 explicit pictures of herself on MySpace for her boyfriend to see. "the ACLU has sued the prosecutor on the girls' behalf, saying he shouldn't have threatened them with baseless charges -- which haven't yet been filed -- if they wouldn't agree to probation and a counseling program. The prosecutor says he was being "proactive" in offering them a choice, but the ACLU says he shouldn't be using "heavy artillery" to make the threats. As its attorney points out, teaching kids that this sort of behavior can bring all sorts of unwanted and unforeseen ramifications is a good idea, but threatening them with child-porn charges isn't the best way to do it."
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Twin Fist

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say that got sent to your kid. it's on YOUR computer. Now you ground your kid. He calls DCFS on you in retaliation

you are now a registered sex offender.

I dont care what anyone says. This is now an epidemic with american teens, and it needs to STOP.

ah crap, i just posted in the Study. Oh well, in for a penny, in for a pound...............
 
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Bob Hubbard

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Lets go through this one....

"posting child porn".
"explicit pictures".

Now, I'd have to see them to say if they were really "explicit". To me, explicit is the stuff you find in Hustler, Penthouse, or in a XXX video.

Bare boobs, isn't explicit, neither is bare assed, and neither is full frontal.
Playboy style isn't explicit.

Explicit is usually defined as involving penetration.

"Child Porn"

Again, this is dependant on the poses. If the shots didn't meet the definition of "explicit", then they aren't "child porn". I can take all the pictures I want of a bare *** naked 14 yr old girl, or a 12 year old, or a 10 year old, and it would be legal, and not porn, as long as they aren't of a sexual nature. (IE spread legged holding herself wide, or ridding a carrot = porn. Buck naked sitting under a tree reading a book != porn.)

Since it appears these kids are doing this -on their own-, -of themselves-, I fail to see a legal crime here.


The flip side is, it's pretty stupid of them, and they should be smarter.

It's also a violation of Myspace's TOS. I've had enough bikini shots flagged by them, how these kids get nudes up, I'd love to know.
 
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Bob Hubbard

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say that got sent to your kid. it's on YOUR computer. Now you ground your kid. He calls DCFS on you in retaliation

you are now a registered sex offender.

I dont care what anyone says. This is now an epidemic with american teens, and it needs to STOP.

ah crap, i just posted in the Study. Oh well, in for a penny, in for a pound...............
Good point.

Ok for them to take, and have, but.....not ok for me to have.
 

Twin Fist

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Bob,
I am right there with you, nekkid doesnt equal porn.

that said, it is beyond stupid for these kids to do this. I want to know where the hell thier parents are
 

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http://www.bendweekly.com/Opinion/16884.html

http://dispatch.com/live/content/lo...ting.ART_ART_03-27-09_B3_6JDCANA.html?sid=101

Let me put it this way. "Sexting," as it is apparently called, is a new phenomena, brought about by technology, but not really addressed by existing laws. That's not good, because the laws we do have don't seem to cover the situation all that well.

But it is not the only situation that the law doesn't cover well in this area.

Up here in Michigan, we had a murder a couple years ago. Guy got his head cut off. Turns out, he was a convicted sex offender - rape of a child. He had his head cut off by a couple local area teenagers.

Ah, you might think. That bastich got what he had coming.

But no.

Seems he was convicted ten years ago - his first and only brush with the law - for having consensual sex with his girlfriend. He was 19, she was 17. Her parents got mad and called the police. She was a juvenile. He was not. He was convicted and sent to prison, forced to register for the rest of his life as a sex offender.

Flash forward ten years - he is living quietly - no wife, no family, registered the way the law requires, trying to run a home-improvement business. Couple of teenage thugs decide they want to kill someone to find out what it feels like to cut someone's head off. They choose him because they heard of his record, decide he 'deserves it'.

They lure him to a house, supposedly to do work on it, stab him to death in the garage, lay him out on a plastic sheet, and saw his head off, then throw it in the river. His headless body is found in a dumpster.

Well, there's a sex offender who got what he deserved, eh?

The law was designed to protect society against predators on our children. In our desire to protect our children, we used a sledge hammer. Sometimes things do not need a sledge hammer to fix them.
 
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Bob Hubbard

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Want to add:
I shoot nudes.
I don't shoot under 18 nude.
I don't shoot nudes without a copy of government issued ID on file verifying the subjects age.
Less drama this way.
 

CuongNhuka

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It's also a violation of Myspace's TOS. I've had enough bikini shots flagged by them, how these kids get nudes up, I'd love to know.

They said explicit, so I'm geussing they are ignoring conventional definitions of words, and are using it to mean, a shot of the girl in her undies. Which:
Could be considered explicit (if you're a prude)
Could be considered child porn (if you have a broad definition of porn)
Depending on the camera angle, the filter might not have realised the nature of the picture.
And, it might not get deleted right away by Myspaces filter anyways (I've seen there filter delete things days AFTER it was orginally posted).
 

Empty Hands

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Only in America can we experience the insanity of two underage teens both brought up on child porn charges for sending nudie pics to each other. While if they had just had sex, it would have been perfectly legal.

The system as it is set up is perverse and unjust. Good for the ACLU.
 

grydth

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Only in America can we experience the insanity of two underage teens both brought up on child porn charges for sending nudie pics to each other. While if they had just had sex, it would have been perfectly legal.

The system as it is set up is perverse and unjust. Good for the ACLU.

Well, that "only in America" part is not entirely accurate....

In a Middle Eastern country, these girls might well be coming before an Islamic court.... and be going on trial for their lives.

How do you think they'd fare in Malaysia or Indonesia? Sudan?

In China, they might face time in a camp.

In North Korea or Zimbabwe.... they'd have been too busy scrounging for basic nourishment to be doing this stuff..... and wouldn't have been allowed cell phones... or any free expression in the first place.

In Mexico or Thailand, 'authorities' might have looked at these pics as job applications....

Still other nations may have considered it witchcraft or proof of insanity....

Meanwhile, back in our hated homeland, a whole lot of DA's would have handled this differently......
 

Nolerama

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Simply put, our legal system has to keep up with the technology at hand. You take hormonal teenagers and instantaneous visual communication that's relatively cheap and widespread, and you get sexting.

We rely way too much on existing laws to define what's right or wrong.

Today's teens, for many reasons, are experiencing their sexuality earlier in life than previous generations. This sexting phenomena is only the tip of a really large iceberg, made up of irresponsible sexual encounters, misplaced value on human interactions, and STDs.

These kids getting in trouble for sexting? They're being made examples. Yes, child porn is wrong, but I agree with Bob, that nudity doesn't necessarily mean lewd. However, a child is involved, and that mucks up the entire situation.

Spend years in debate over the finer points and definitions of what is porn, child porn, and the distribution of said material?

Or scare the existing population, and subsequent generations with a serious taboo with legal ramifications?

I pick the latter. Sometimes, the boogeyman is enough of a deterrent.
 

Empty Hands

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Well, that "only in America" part is not entirely accurate....

I'm not aware of any other countries that simultaneously hold a minor as a minor for the purposes of creating child porn, and as an adult for possessing child porn. That is not to say that other places are not more unjust, or that they could be starving in North Korea. Your examples are non-sequiturs.
 

grydth

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I'm not aware of any other countries that simultaneously hold a minor as a minor for the purposes of creating child porn, and as an adult for possessing child porn. That is not to say that other places are not more unjust, or that they could be starving in North Korea. Your examples are non-sequiturs.

Just because you don't know doesn't make my examples wrong. I suggest you check the records of Saudi Arabia and Iran more closely, especially with respect to extreme punishment of sexual offenders and execution of minors.

It is your ding on America, over the actions of a single DA, that is grotesquely inappropriate.
 

Gordon Nore

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Youngsters posting nude pictures on websites, to me, is troubling and dangerous. It invites predation and exploitation. The web world puts foolish indiscretion on record. It's a terrible mistake that may not go away.

Laws punishing them for doing this are stupider. This might be a matter for family court in the interests of protecting these youngsters.

It is most certainly not a matter for criminal court. Any 'example' being set here will not discourage impulsive kids.
 

Archangel M

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Ive never been a big fan of the whole "self-loathing" thing either.

As to this "porn thing". Adults willingly and knowingly sending images of themselves to each other should be absolutely legal. Using the "child-porn" statute because the sending and recieving parties are juveniles is a perversion of the laws intent IMO.

What becomes an issue is how you can mandate someone to attend a program or "diversion program"..typically you have to hold a hammer of jailtime/criminal record over someone to get them to attend. Right or worng, many times a version of that is what is going on "behind the scenes" in these situations.
 

5-0 Kenpo

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Try as I might, I could not find Pennsylvania's criminal code in a convenient format. So, I will try to extrapolate by way of California code, which I know best.

It is not uncommon for sex crimes to be held against minors, whether they be the instigator, recipient, or both. California has prosecuted minor girls for having sex, as well as minor boys, even if both were minors.

In regards to the law itself, it is not a matter whether the pictures sent were of a sexually explicit nature. What matters is what the sender / recipient intended them for. If it was for sexual gratification, then it is illegal. Of course, it is up to the court to determine the intent of the sender / receiver during trial.


In this particular case, the girls sent them to their boyfriends. If not for sexual inticement, then for what other cause. Of course, again, it would still have to be adjudicated.

Now, as for threatening them. The ACLU's position is ridiculous. This is done all the time in court. It's called plea bargining, and can ONLY be done by the city / district attorney.
 

Empty Hands

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It is your ding on America, over the actions of a single DA, that is grotesquely inappropriate.

A single DA? Oh no, my friend, I wish it was so.

Here is a story about 6 high school students facing child porn charges for mailing nudie pics of themselves.

Here is another similar case. And another. In the last one, the teens involved were in a relationship and didn't share the pics with anyone else.

I have seen a number of such cases just myself reported in the media. America has a particular insanity when it comes to sex laws, which play themselves out in full glory in these cases. Getting all patriotic and bringing up North Korea is a red herring, a distraction, and a dodge. Our beloved country won't get any better by chanting "it's worse elsewhere!".
 
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