Another Kid Arrested on Child Porn Charges

Friday, March 27th, 2009

This is so unbelievably stupid.

You can’t exploit yourself. And in what twisted world do you protect children from making bad decisions by arresting them and charging them with child pornography?

And here’s one where the girls weren’t even actually nude:

The picture that investigators from the office of District Attorney George P. Skumanick of Wyoming County had was taken two years earlier at a slumber party. It showed Marissa and a friend from the waist up. Both were wearing bras.

Mr. Skumanick said he considered the photo “provocative” enough to tell Marissa and the friend, Grace Kelly, that if they did not attend a 10-hour class dealing with pornography and sexual violence, he was considering filing a charge of sexual abuse of a minor against both girls. If convicted, they could serve time in prison and would probably have to register as sex offenders.

This shouldn’t be a law enforcement issue. It’s a parent issue. You aren’t protecting these kids by arresting them and threatening them. You’re damaging them.

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38 Responses to “Another Kid Arrested on Child Porn Charges”

  1. #1 |  Kid Handsome | 

    Tsk Tsk, Radley. “It’s for the children.” How? Let me answer by just saying more loudly “IT’S FOR THE CHILDREN.”

    Don’t make me say it again.

  2. #2 |  Ahcuah | 

    What is even more wrong with these cases is that there is Supreme Court precedent that says that photos of children who are merely nude is not illegal. They are protected by the First Amendment.

    In order to be child pornography, the pictures must be lewd or have a graphic focus on the genitals. Yet, you have these cops, and unfortunately, some judges, being in total ignorance of the law.

    Oh, and “lewdness” requires more than mere nudity.

  3. #3 |  Lee | 

    As a parent I really wish there was a way you could charge these idiots (the cops) with child endangerment.

    Could you sic the Child Protective Services on them?

  4. #4 |  Dave Krueger | 

    What we really need is a Sex Idiot Registry.

    By the way, child porn laws are not about exploitation. They are about sex, the same way censorship (obscenity) laws, prostitution laws, strip club laws, and indecent exposure laws are about sex. Exploitation is when one takes advantage of someone else to their detriment. Most child porn crimes do not directly involve children.

    I know I’m the only one on the planet who thinks like this, but I question whether being seen nude or seeing someone else nude results in significant trauma for someone of any age or rises to the level of a crime. I further question any collective mental competence of any society that stigmatizes nudity and sex to the extent that the U.S. does.

    Admittedly, this opinion comes from someone who played doctor with Katie Graham when we were both in the second grade.

  5. #5 |  Adam S | 

    Radley you have neglected Tom Waits great little snippet on self-exploitation!

    Hehe.

  6. #6 |  Dennis H. | 

    I’m relieved to see the ACLU has taken an interest.

  7. #7 |  Mattocracy | 

    Historically, religious zealotry used to demonize the innocence of children and sexual conduct. Now, it’s the secular state. Authority is just evil and dangerous no matter what form is comes in.

    And let’s be honest, this is child abuse. They state is abusing children and damaging them psychologically. Not daddy with anger issues, not the pedophile scout master, not mommy the addict who sells her kids for drugs, THE FUCKING GOVERNMENT!

    What’s the lesson here kids? You are second class citizens. Actually…let’s be honest, you aren’t even people. You are property of mom and dad, and vicariously, property of the state. And property cannot consent to anything. These are the rules we adults have made. You will abide by them, or we will never make you equal, even when you become adults. We will classify you the same as violent rapists and pedophiles. We’ll tell you forever where you can live, we’ll tell all you neighbors that you’re evil, tell your employer, your school. You will forever be evil and wrong because of the arbitrary restrictions have put on the natural behavior of people. Be afraid of sex, be afraid of love, and be afraid of arousal. And most importantly, be afraid of us. Now grow up without complexes, be normal, and have a healthy understanding of sex and love, damnit!

  8. #8 |  Marty | 

    govt-mandated sex classes are SO effective!

  9. #9 |  SusanK | 

    A lot of this has to do with the fact that people didn’t have cameras before. Was it illegal to paint nude pictures of children if no one sat for them? What if the person painted themselves as a child?
    And, until the advent of camera phones, kids didn’t have cameras and sure as heck weren’t going to take their film to the local shop to get developed so their mom’s best friend could see what they’d been doing.

  10. #10 |  ShelbyC | 

    It amazes me that we give cell phone cameras to kids and now we’re shocked, shocked that kids are doing this. This is the type of thing kids do.

    Unfortunatly judge’s have found a child-port exception to the first amendment that I’m too stupid to see when I read the constitution. Maybe that should be revisited as applied to these types of things.

  11. #11 |  Mike T | 

    Historically, religious zealotry used to demonize the innocence of children and sexual conduct. Now, it’s the secular state. Authority is just evil and dangerous no matter what form is comes in.

    Authority is neither inherently dangerous nor evil. If it were, there would be no tolerance for any relationships based on power, from the existence of government, to private business. It’s that human nature is twisted and flawed, and leads people to abuse power and authority.

    There is nothing new under the sun regarding human nature. We are dealing with the same issues today, on a larger scale, that our ancient ancestors dealt with when the tribal chief got too big for his loin cloth and headdress.

  12. #12 |  Mike T | 

    I have a simple solution for the prosecutor: let Google index her and her friend. Even better. Not only do that, but send a “letter of recommendation” to her college of choice, telling them to do a Google search on her. Let a few hundred teens very publicly lose their college admissions, and this will quickly become non-issue for the public.

  13. #13 |  Adam S | 

    try this link.

  14. #14 |  Mike T | 

    (Obviously Google shouldn’t be indexing anything other than risque photos)

  15. #15 |  Boyd Durkin | 

    “Authority is neither inherently dangerous nor evil. If it were, there would be no tolerance for any relationships based on power, from the existence of government, to private business. It’s that human nature is twisted and flawed, and leads people to abuse power and authority.”

    Not willing to concede this. Not willing to demonize humans as twisted and flawed while protecting an artificial structure of authority/power. I’m not too concerned with “evil”, since that is subjective. But “dangerous” can be pretty well established.

  16. #16 |  Steve Verdon | 

    Lee,

    Could you sic the Child Protective Services on them?

    Uhhhmm you don’t want to do that. Once they become involved it is a really bad thing. Think Texas and that mormon cult.

    CPS is the enemy not only of bad parents, but good ones as well. Fear them.

  17. #17 |  Steve Verdon | 

    Mike T,

    You’re an idiot. You really think humiliating children in this manner, forever, is the solution? Really?

    Why not talk to the parents, talk the children involved, and point out that morons like Mike T. out there would make their life quite unpleasant for a very long time if those digital images found their way onto the internet.

  18. #18 |  Mattocracy | 

    I really feel like this is a civil rights issue. Women were oppressed and got equal rights, black people were oppressed and got equal rights, and now homosexuals are getting close to the same goal. So since the powers that be can’t hurt these groups anymore, I guess they’ve decided to turn their attention to the last group of people who can’t vote or exercise rights. I hope that next civil rights movement is about allowing minors top take control of their own lives and actions. Otherwise, they’re going to be classified as criminals, sex offenders, and second class citizens offenders before they even get the chance to be treated as equals.

  19. #19 |  fwb | 

    Yes, but when you have a government bent on taking over permanently, the easiest way is to make everyone a criminal so only those in power can vote for themselves to retain that power.

    Of course, our governments are out of control. Why? Ignorant people. Why ignorant people? public schools.

  20. #20 |  pam | 

    I’m in the juvenile justice business and the comment at #18 is interesting. This”last group of people” I’ve often wondered can be charged and tried as adults (age 10,11,12,13,14,15,) but they can’t do any of the adult things, most particularly vote. I find that to be contradictory and almost unconstitutional. Kids as young as well, 8 (in Arizona) are held accountable for their actions to the fullest extent of the law including life sentences without parole in some cases, but can’t go on a field trip without the consent of their parent. I guess I just don’t get it. And, they have not say so because they can’t vote, they can’t even get on a school bus without a signed waiver from the parents that they will behave. Yet they can go into an adult prison for a life time.

  21. #21 |  pam | 

    there are over 2,000 kids in this country serving lwop most of them 14-16 years old when sentenced. They couldn’t legally buy a cigarette at that age. It doesn’t seem to be honest.

  22. #22 |  Dave Krueger | 

    Interesting perspective, Pam. You have just defined my new attitude toward children being tried as adults.

    Of course, the reason government can get away trying kids as adults is because there is no public outcry. The Constitution is powerless without vocal public support. The Supreme Court has proven that repeatedly. For the most part, the public doesn’t even see the inconsistency.

  23. #23 |  Eric Ogunbase | 

    How can someone charge a child with child pornography? That’s like charging someone who attempts suicide and fails with attempted murder.

    But #19 had it exactly right. If everyone is a criminal who has to be tracked by the government, it makes it easier for Big Daddy Government and the Agents of Change to monitor you.

  24. #24 |  Mike T | 

    You’re an idiot. You really think humiliating children in this manner, forever, is the solution? Really?

    Why not talk to the parents, talk the children involved, and point out that morons like Mike T. out there would make their life quite unpleasant for a very long time if those digital images found their way onto the internet.

    You act like many of these stories don’t already involve the content in question being published online. Phones like the iPhone make the distinction a moot point anyway. Receive a photo from one person, post it on Facebook 10 seconds later.

    Unlike you, I just have no pity for these teens. They’re stupid. Unsympathetically stupid. Anyone who grew up with the Internet should know how public the damn thing is. The only people who can reasonably be expected to be Internet privacy illiterates are people the age of my grandmother (80).

  25. #25 |  Mike T | 

    humiliating children

    A 10-12 year old, I’d agree with you, but high school-age girls are closer to adults than children, especially at 15-17. I see no basis for calling them “children.”

  26. #26 |  CharlesWT | 

    Whatever happen to being grounded for a month?

  27. #27 |  ktc2 | 

    Teenagers are not children. Get over it.

  28. #28 |  Steve Verdon | 

    Mike,

    You keep digging yourself in deeper.

    You act like many of these stories don’t already involve the content in question being published online. Phones like the iPhone make the distinction a moot point anyway. Receive a photo from one person, post it on Facebook 10 seconds later.

    Of course people do stuff like that all the time. The difference is that you are advocating it as official government sanctioned policy. That is why you are an idiot.

    Unlike you, I just have no pity for these teens. They’re stupid.

    Oh, well your an idiot, but as a teen you were perfect. Pardon me if I think your full of crap. Look everyone, as a teenager Mike T. never did anything stupid.

    Yes, what they’ve done is stupid. To then advocate punishing them for years maybe even decades for something stupid indicates a level of heartlessness that frankly is astonishing. Please, do us all a favor and don’t breed. We don’t need your genes spreading.

    A 10-12 year old, I’d agree with you, but high school-age girls are closer to adults than children, especially at 15-17. I see no basis for calling them “children.”

    And

    Teenagers are not children. Get over it.

    Okay, then lets lower the age of adulthood to 13.

  29. #29 |  Mattocracy | 

    Doesn’t matter if these kids are adults or not. SEX is not a fucking crime! Neither is photographing oneself or anything else like that. They shouldn’t be punished for doing things that anyone feels is dumb. They didn’t hurt anyone. No one was attacked, had property stolen, no one was denied he right pursue happiness. These are victimless crimes.

  30. #30 |  Ben | 

    We need to force all kids to read Daniel Quinn’s books if we have much hope for the next generation. Thinking people might fix this. Making people think, unfortunatly, is next to impossible.

  31. #31 |  Mike T | 

    And you keep digging your own hole, looking like a pompous ass who conflates his own opinion with objective truth:

    The difference is that you are advocating it as official government sanctioned policy. That is why you are an idiot.

    Such wonderful reading comprehension skills you have… mistaking “let Google” for “making Google.”

    Oh, well your an idiot, but as a teen you were perfect. Pardon me if I think your full of crap. Look everyone, as a teenager Mike T. never did anything stupid.

    Yes, what they’ve done is stupid. To then advocate punishing them for years maybe even decades for something stupid indicates a level of heartlessness that frankly is astonishing. Please, do us all a favor and don’t breed. We don’t need your genes spreading.

    Oh please. Get off your fucking high horse. Like our sex-saturated culture will give a damn in 5 years what they did in high school.

    Okay, then lets lower the age of adulthood to 13.

    No, let’s start treating teens, both in the law and culture, like they’re in between. You would never punish a 10 year old for dancing naked or something stupid like that. A 15 year old is old enough to start thinking about college and understand reputations. There is a healthy balance that used to exist where social stigma would enforce what the law is doing today.

  32. #32 |  Danimal | 

    “Unlike you, I just have no pity for these teens. They’re stupid. Unsympathetically stupid.”

    Yes, they’re stupid. Of course they’re stupid. They’re teenagers, and teenagers don’t think like real people. That’s their nature. That doesn’t mean they need to have their lives ruined for their stupidity.

  33. #33 |  Zargon | 

    So, if I understand correctly, taking nude pictures of yourself is bad. I’ll accept that at face value for the sake of argument. But if you’re 10, we’ll let it pass, because you’re a child, and don’t know any better. And if you’re 18, we’ll let it pass, because you’re an adult, and understand the consequences of your actions. But if you’re 15, we’ll hit you with prison time, or a lifetime on the sex offender list, or public humiliation, or any combination of the above, plus anything else we can throw at you, because

    “A 15 year old is old enough to start thinking about college and understand reputations. There is a healthy balance that used to exist where social stigma would enforce what the law is doing today.”

  34. #34 |  Pamela | 

    #27, then they should be allowed to vote, buy cigarettes, sign contracts, drink booze, get on a school bus without a signed premission slip, get married, drop out of school, join the service, stay out past 11:00, drive a car before age 16, get a job, bla, bla

  35. #35 |  Elusive Wapiti | 

    “Authority is neither inherently dangerous nor evil.”

    Actually, authority is good for you, up to a point. Don’t believe me? Think of what happens when there is no authority at all. Now I will most certainly agree that this is a perfect case of the Law and Authority run amok.

    This question is ripe for jury nullification. But if I were her I’d be afraid to go to trial because nobody thinks that they have the right to judge the laws anymore.

    Regarding said teens and the cell-phone pictures: I fail to see what the big deal is. A tween girl in her underpants? Puh-leeze.

    Even a fully nude one wouldn’t necessarily get me fired up. Here’s why: adolescence is a very recent invention of humanity. You can thank the public skools for that. Prior to compulsory public schooling, humans were well along the road to being full-up adults by the time they hit puberty. We’ve simply moved the goal posts further away in time, then tut-tut to ourselves when our little babies act like the sexually charged humans they always were. Only now they aren’t treated like the demi-adults they were before.

    John Paul Jones captained a ship at age 15. Humans are capable of being mature when they’re younger. Perhaps we oughta think of ways to push them back toward the psychological maturity they were 150 years ago, and marvel at when their psychological maturity happens to line up with their physical maturity.

  36. #36 |  Zargon | 

    Authority (the kind based in power, not in knowledge) is one person claiming the right to tell me what to do – or else. I fail to see how that is good for me, in any quantity. A limited exception may be arguable for children.

  37. #37 |  Burrow Owl | 

    I question whether being seen nude or seeing someone else nude results in significant trauma for someone of any age or rises to the level of a crime.

    What if Rosie O’Donnell is the nude in question?

  38. #38 |  Aaron | 

    Mike T: having nude pictures online should not make a difference to college admissions. It might, right now, but I expect that to change in the next twenty years.

    Yes, these kids have grown up with the internet. They know that just about anyone can see what they post. They have a very different attitude about it though: they don’t care, except to the extent that people punish them for such activities.

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