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6 Pennsylvania Teens Face Child Porn Charges For Pics of Selves 1044

Posted by timothy
from the nudity-is-for-in-person-only dept.
mikesd81 writes "MSNBC reports six Pennsylvania high school students are facing child pornography charges after three teenage girls allegedly took nude or semi-nude photos of themselves and shared them with male classmates via their cell phones. Apparently, female students at Greensburg Salem High School in Greensburg, Pa., all 14 or 15 years old, face charges of manufacturing, disseminating or possessing child pornography while the boys, who are 16 and 17, face charges of possession. Police told the station that the photos were discovered in October, after school officials seized a cell phone from a male student who was using it in violation against school policy and the photos were discovered at that time. Police Capt. George Seranko was quoted as saying that the first photograph was 'a self portrait taken of a juvenile female taking pictures of her body, nude.' The school district issued a statement Tuesday saying that the investigation turned up 'no evidence of inappropriate activity on school grounds ... other than the violation of the electronic devices policy.'"
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6 Pennsylvania Teens Face Child Porn Charges For Pics of Selves

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  • Wow. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Irish_Samurai (224931) on Tuesday January 20, 2009 @12:43PM (#26530197)

    I mean, talk about punishing the victim here...

    Oh wait, I forgot Child Porn laws are no longer about the harm and damage done to the child during the creation of the material in question...

    Way to be society.

  • Hmmm. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by CannonballHead (842625) on Tuesday January 20, 2009 @12:46PM (#26530251)

    investigation turned up 'no evidence of inappropriate activity on school grounds

    That seems hard to believe, but ok.

  • by 0100010001010011 (652467) on Tuesday January 20, 2009 @12:49PM (#26530291)

    Indeed. Thankfully because we caught them early on they now won't be able to become teachers or run for office. On every job application they ever fill out for the rest of their lives they'll have to put that they're a sexual offender.

    When they move they'll have to notify the county where they live. They'll have to let their neighbors know (So they can keep their kids away from these nasty people). In certain states they'll have to turn over their e-mail addresses and passwords.

    Hurray for the war on child porn, lets see if any of them have tried marijuana (as the last 2 and current president have admitted to doing) then we can sweep them under with the War On Drugs too.

    Never mind you're more likely to be molested by your Uncle or your Mom's new boyfriend than some stranger in a van.

  • by Durrill (908003) on Tuesday January 20, 2009 @12:50PM (#26530321)
    In all honesty, what harm was being done? Teens will do much more than acts of nudity with each other. This generation we have cell phones, digital cameras, internet, and web cams. So things have gone from adults "knowing" that this kind of stuff is going on to "proving" that it is true. With proof they decide to nail their asses to the wall? Thats ludicrous. Kids will be kids. If this kind of behaviour did not exist, we wouldn't be able to propogate the human race. Grow up and leave those kids alone. Those of you who actually had sex in highschool would understand my view point.
  • Re:Nude != Porn (Score:5, Insightful)

    by HungryHobo (1314109) on Tuesday January 20, 2009 @12:50PM (#26530325)

    You're kidding right?
    The think of the children nutcases would label him first as soft on child pornographers, then a pedophile sympathiser and finally simply as a pedophile.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday January 20, 2009 @12:52PM (#26530343)

    Thats a misconception. They want you to think you do, however just because you enter a school doesn't give them the right to remove your rights.

  • by HungryHobo (1314109) on Tuesday January 20, 2009 @12:53PM (#26530355)

    I remember when I was a child myself hearing about such laws and asking curiously "what about if you take pictures of yourself?" and being told "Oh of course it's just to catch bad people, nobody would be that silly."
    Unfortunatly slashdot tends to be right when it comes to such things and if there's an insane way to apply a law which everyone dismisses as "nobody would ever apply it like that" then you can bet your ass it will be abused exactly like that.

  • by rpervinking (1090995) on Tuesday January 20, 2009 @12:53PM (#26530357)
    Gee. I thought school teachers and officials acted in loco parentis. Don't parents have the right to examine this sort of thing? Most notably? Really? Compared to concern about criminalization of the acts performed by these kids? Wow.
  • by Ethanol-fueled (1125189) * on Tuesday January 20, 2009 @12:53PM (#26530363) Homepage Journal

    after school officials seized a cell phone from a male student who was using it in violation against school policy and the photos were discovered at that time.

    So whomever confiscated the phone didn't just turn it off and give it back after class, but the sick voyeuristic fuck actually rummaged though the phone's pictures, ran into the bathroom and beat off to it, then felt dirty and decided to call the cops to report CP?

    What is up with all of the voyeurism lately? Are peoples' lives so pathetic that they have to spend inordinate amounts of time and effort to gawk at others'?

  • utter crap (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Loki_666 (824073) on Tuesday January 20, 2009 @12:54PM (#26530371)

    Its now only a small step to being done for having photos of your own kids nude. Hell, ive event sent pics of my kids nude to my mum, so guessing i could also be done for distributing child porn.

    Amazing.

    And how is this different from girls flashing boys in the woods or stripping off at parties (yes, there were such parties when i was at school).

    Its called life and growing up. Boys are interested in girls, girls are interested in boys, and sometimes even same gender likes same.

    Mobile technologies just add an extra element to this and make it a bit easier to do for the kids. Also safer. Girl can take a pic in the privacy of her room and send it to boy who can whack one off in the privacy of his room. In my day there was always the risk of getting caught with the girl in the woods and getting an ear bashing from the local bobby or parents.

  • by Tom (822) on Tuesday January 20, 2009 @12:54PM (#26530379) Homepage Journal

    Psychologically, I say this is the extreme conversatives who would really like to outlaw nudity, masturbation and while we're at it, even thinking about sex. Since they can't, they are looking for alternatives.

    Stripping away all the legality nonsense, what they've done is outlawing the naked human body, at least as long as it's young. That's a step in the "proper" (according to their belief) direction.

    There is no thought about "harm" because it is replaced by a strong belief that there is "irrepairable moral harm". And by "strong belief" I mean "belief that is unimpressed by proof".

  • by corsec67 (627446) on Tuesday January 20, 2009 @12:59PM (#26530443) Homepage Journal

    In all honesty, what harm was being done?

    Hahahaha, you think that laws are about preventing harm done to anybody?

    There are plenty of laws that cause harm, from the bans on marijuana, prostitution, speech, guns for self-defense, carrying over $10K in cash, etc.

    (I agree with you, but laws haven't been about preventing harm for a long time. Really a law should have to show that something is harmful to other people before it can be banned. Water being more toxic than marijuana by LD50 [wikipedia.org] is a good example for that.)

  • by cbiltcliffe (186293) on Tuesday January 20, 2009 @12:59PM (#26530447) Homepage Journal

    I'm no expert on American law, but wouldn't this evidence be inadmissible in a court case, as there was no warrant, and therefore the search of the phone was illegal?

    I realize this is a "OMG!!THINKOFHTECHILDEEHJRJEIEAAARRRRGGGHHH!!!!111LOL!!" kind of thing, where legal formalities are frequently tossed aside because "they're only child molesters."
    But seriously....wouldn't this be a illegal search in the first place?

  • Re:Nude != Porn (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Skinkie (815924) on Tuesday January 20, 2009 @12:59PM (#26530461) Homepage
    I'm sorry but if you think that a guy that loves everything young with boobs is a pedophile, you might need to look at Wikipedia for the actual definition of a pedophile. Worst case we are talking about Ephebophilia which is actually an extremely healthy thing.
  • by TheGratefulNet (143330) on Tuesday January 20, 2009 @01:00PM (#26530465)

    Their lives are ruined

    how long will it be before someone whose life is ruined like this takes matters into his/her own hands and 'snaps', seeking revenge?

    its not hard to understand the terrorist mind; when you are pushed and have NOTHING (perceived) left - you do what you feel 'needs' to be done to right a major wrong.

    suppose some kids are given criminal records and they find they can't find jobs (etc) later in life. do you REALLY think they will sit quietly and accept a ruined life?

    we are creating time bombs. count on it - its just a matter of time.

    I hope that those kids find justice before their lives truly are ruined. this is a FAIL on society that kids can have a life ruined for 'being kids'. ;(

  • by erroneus (253617) on Tuesday January 20, 2009 @01:00PM (#26530467) Homepage

    I recognize that your comment was intended to be sarcastic.

    We attempt to paint this picture that is far too black-and-white for practical purposes when reality is too far removed from the ideology behind the laws we have in place.

    Fact is, teenagers will figure out sex and sexuality with or without adult guidance. Making their own experimentation criminal is simply a huge mistake. At the very least, an institutionalized grey area needs to be present. For example, if there is a "teen" in the age of the suspects, a lot more consideration needs to be applied. Do the words "raging hormones" mean nothing to legislators and prosecutors? Does the fact that for most people their first genuine sexual feelings begin prior to the age of 13?

    Criminalize nature all you like, but it will not change nature. Today's ultra-cautious political state is simply out of control. If today's standards for children applied when I was a kid, I'd have been put into jail forever for some of the crap I did. Everything from fireworks to B-B guns would have gotten me marked for life. And yes, I too had partaken in various forms of cruelty to animals as there was an abundance of insects, frogs and tortoises in my area where I grew up... not to mention birds and squirrels.

    We need a LOT less legislation of morality. Some child pornography is very obvious and needs control -- older adults with ten year olds is very obviously wrong. A 20 year old and a 16 year old is less obviously wrong. And kids taking pictures of themselves and sharing them with friends in an environment commercial exploiting sexuality as a means of getting attention for their selling ads is just wrong. You can't allow the environment to exist without expecting young people to be affected! Take Paris Hilton off the air, off of covers of magazines and newspapers! She is famous for ONE reason alone.

    Frankly, if I was the parent of any of these teens, I would start filing suit against EVERY major media provider that influences children with their unavoidable crap selling sexuality to teenagers. You can destroy every TV, magazine and newspaper in the home and teens are STILL going to be at risk of influence from it. And yes, I know it is futile and stupid. But attention to the real problems will never be drawn until obvious clashes between culture and law are reconciled.

  • by TheMeuge (645043) on Tuesday January 20, 2009 @01:00PM (#26530475)

    This is a 2nd amendment issue. The parents of the children in question, for the security of a free state, should collect firearms, organize a militia, and shoot dead everyone who has fast-tracked this case into the courtroom.

  • by betterunixthanunix (980855) on Tuesday January 20, 2009 @01:01PM (#26530495)
    This is definitely something that needs to be curtailed -- these are not adults making a rational decision about these pictures, these are teenagers who think it is exciting. Arresting them will not stop the behavior, it will just drive it underground. What is needed is better parenting and education.

    Of course, that is always the case...
  • by Austerity Empowers (669817) on Tuesday January 20, 2009 @01:02PM (#26530511)

    To the extent that the parents/schools can be held legally responsible for activities the students are involved in (or rather the blissful and perhaps willful ignorance therein), minors should have limited freedoms and expectations of privacy. They are usually legally treated with kid gloves because we don't expect minors to necessarily understand right/wrong, consequence and danger. The downside is that minors do have freedoms limited by parents and guardians (and I disagree and think schools should count as guardians, although the law seems to vary).

    I think the only thing noteworthy in this story is whether the kids will actually get convicted. This has "plea out" all over it, with a side of "I'll teach you a lesson you won't forget".

    The question of whether it's appropriate to charge teens with porn charges is probably irrelevant. Underage porn laws are written with the intent (whether you agree or not) of protecting minors from themselves. Thus you can't differentiate who took it, or you could have adults paying/pressuring teens to do this. You need to be able to charge the teens if only to let them plea and turn in any adult who may have been involved. The question of whether these laws are well conceived isn't being raised.

    This is a case where kids are being kids and should be treated like kids... but the law isn't great with exceptions. I question what "lesson" the prosecutor thinks can be taught by chasing this particular crime, and why not just let the parents handle it with a firm warning that this is illegal. If anything is wrong here, it's the attorney trying to play the role of a parent.

  • by haystor (102186) on Tuesday January 20, 2009 @01:02PM (#26530515)

    I'm sure they're going with the idea that every student consents to a search when they attend school.

    Of course, they are required to be a school and failure to attend can result in charges in some states. Thus, they are required to consent to searches.

  • Re:Hmmm. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by cbiltcliffe (186293) on Tuesday January 20, 2009 @01:03PM (#26530525) Homepage Journal

    I'd say the investigation itself, at least by the administration, is inappropriate activity on school grounds.....

  • by FredFredrickson (1177871) * on Tuesday January 20, 2009 @01:04PM (#26530535) Homepage Journal
    Laws don't apply in this case.
  • by DustoneGT (969310) on Tuesday January 20, 2009 @01:06PM (#26530583)
    Hooray for victimless crimes. We wonder why our prisons are overcrowded and the US has more prisoners than China.
  • Seriously...WTF?! (Score:5, Insightful)

    by thesolo (131008) * <slap@fighttheriaa.org> on Tuesday January 20, 2009 @01:06PM (#26530591) Homepage
    From the article (emphasis mine):

    Saranko indicated that authorities decided to file the child pornography charges to send a strong message to other minors who might consider sending such photos to friends.

    "It's very dangerous," he said. "Once it's on a cell phone, that cell phone can be put on the Internet where everyone in the world can get access to that juvenile picture. You don't realize what you are doing until it's already done."

    Wait, what? First of all, no, the cell phone isn't put on the internet, the photos might be, but whatever, that's nit-picking. The real issue is that first statement. They're going to make these kids register as sex offenders to "send a strong message to other minors"?!

    These kids didn't do anything wrong. They're teens, they're full of hormones, and they're going to have sex with each other. And it's not the state or federal government's place to stop them. This has gotten far out of hand when 15 year olds willfully showing their bodies to 16 year olds can be prosecuted as child porn.

  • by cbiltcliffe (186293) on Tuesday January 20, 2009 @01:08PM (#26530609) Homepage Journal

    That's kind of what I was going on, but I didn't explain it very well.

    Sure, confiscate the phone, as it's not allowed on school property, or in class, or whatever.

    But you have no right whatsoever to look through the contents of my phone.

  • by Dun Malg (230075) on Tuesday January 20, 2009 @01:08PM (#26530619) Homepage

    I wonder if the school administrator who turned them in realized the damage that would be done to these kids. Their lives are ruined. They will fight for a long long time to get this off their record.

    Probably didn't even think of it. I work for a large school district, and the one thing I've noticed is that it's not just the cream that floats to the top. A depressingly large fraction of school admin people are complete idiots--- and not just the regular street-variety dodo, but the worst kind of idiot, the kind that has a degree and subsequently thinks they're brighter than everyone else. The kind of self-righteous twit that makes a stupid decision and then defends it to the death, even when faced with prima facie evidence that they totally screwed the pooch.

  • by HungryHobo (1314109) on Tuesday January 20, 2009 @01:13PM (#26530683)

    wait... what?
    You start out saying teens will be teens and will be interested in sex then move on to denouncing "every major media provider that influences children with their unavoidable crap selling sexuality to teenagers".
    So is sex evil now or not?
    do you want teens kept in a sex free bubble or in the real world?

    I'm just not exactly clear after reading that.

  • TREASON (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday January 20, 2009 @01:13PM (#26530689)

    Whoever filed the charges should be hanged for treason. PERIOD!

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday January 20, 2009 @01:15PM (#26530721)

    No it doesn't mean criminal law doesn't apply, it just means that civil rights do not apply.

    The search and seizure laws aren't considered in this case because the incident involves minors (under 18 years of age).

    Like it or not, agree with it or not, minors do not legally have civil rights so they can not be infringed upon.

  • by fishbowl (7759) on Tuesday January 20, 2009 @01:17PM (#26530751)

    Teacher who confiscates a nude photo that a teenager took of herself, becomes the first adult in possession of the image. Where is the specific guarantee of immunity to charges?

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday January 20, 2009 @01:20PM (#26530785)

    You're most likely to be molested/raped by your mother.
    You're most likely to be physically abused by your mother.
    You're most likely to be emotionally abused by your mother.
    You're most likely to be killed by your mother.

    But men are evil.

  • by AK Marc (707885) on Tuesday January 20, 2009 @01:24PM (#26530841)
    Frame fail -- you can view child pornography as long as you report it immediately and destroy it as soon as it has been collected as evidence by the police.

    Where is this exception written into the law, and do you honestly think someone contacting the cops saying "come collect the child porn I have" will be given a medal rather than thrown in jail?
  • by Dun Malg (230075) on Tuesday January 20, 2009 @01:25PM (#26530877) Homepage

    Gee. I thought school teachers and officials acted in loco parentis. Don't parents have the right to examine this sort of thing? Most notably? Really? Compared to concern about criminalization of the acts performed by these kids? Wow.

    Tough call there. The most recent Supreme Court decision re:in loco parentis was New Jersey v. T. L. O. [wikipedia.org], which essentially gave the school greater leeway with regard to the 4th Amd. On the other hand, the case hinged heavily on the student having an ever-incriminating chain of probable-cause-worthy things in her statements and items in her purse. The leap from "had a phone turned on in class" to "search phone for illicit photos" may very exceed the envelope. Only the courts can decide that. I personally think it's a questionable search, but more importantly, it's a completely inappropriate application of child porn law, much like prosecuting one or both parties to consensual sex between two minors for statutory rape. Then again, that happens too. <flamebait> I blame excessive religious indoctrination</flamebait>.

  • by moniker127 (1290002) on Tuesday January 20, 2009 @01:27PM (#26530891)
    The girls willingly sent those photos. Who is the victim here? Arent laws only there to prevent the abuses of rights? Its not like the 15 and 16 year old boys are creepy old balding men who told the girls to send them photos. This is bullshit anyway- the phones were taken for a completley different reason- and whatever creepy old teacher took them didnt have a right to look through the memory card. Its like arresting someone for j-walking, and then using that as a warrent to search their house for drugs. Thats now how warrents are supposed to be used. If you see people coming out of someone's hosue with bags of weed- you get a warrent, and then you search the house for the weed, and if you find the weed while you're in there, then that person is in trouble, but thats the only thing you are allowed to look for, nothing else is useable in a court of law because the warrent was just for the weed. These laws were set up that way to prevent exactly this sort of abuse of power. Bottom line is the phone charge and the child pornography charge are fucking unrelated.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday January 20, 2009 @01:28PM (#26530919)

    I think it is indicative of a very sick nation that such a radical measure is fully justified. For the security of a free state (if we have one) this cannot be allowed to stand.

    The 2nd amendment was written to give citizens an absolute method of defense, a final safeguard that should never be circumvented. External threats are no longer the chief danger to a free state, it is internal injustices like this that should never be tolerated.

  • by FireStormZ (1315639) on Tuesday January 20, 2009 @01:29PM (#26530949)

    "Teacher who confiscates a nude photo that a teenager took of herself, becomes the first adult in possession of the image. Where is the specific guarantee of immunity to charges?"

    The older boy 17, may be an adult in PA but IANAL.

    Given the teacher immediately turned everything over to the police I would think there is no risk of being charged... Its not, after all, illegal to report a crime..

  • by GooberToo (74388) on Tuesday January 20, 2009 @01:31PM (#26530985)

    I'm no expert on American law, but wouldn't this evidence be inadmissible in a court case, as there was no warrant, and therefore the search of the phone was illegal?

    It's pretty easy to argue they had a reasonable expectation of privacy for the data held on their phone. Thankfully, since the justice system works so well here, bankruptcy is a fairly common occurrence in order to pay for establishing such grounds.

    Heck, thanks to the wonderful justice system here, simple tort cases can bankrupt families despite the fact the case has no reasonable basis. Heck, lottery winners of less than $4-million often spend a huge chunk, if not all of it, fending off law suites from claimants who have no credible claim to their winnings. That was a statistic from the company that runs 80% of the world's lottery systems.

    Sad fact is, the legal system in the US is completely fucked. Reasonable assumptions should never be made. And far too often, victory means financial devastation for a decade.

    The US has more prisoners than any other country in the world. The fastest growing government service is prisons and prison related services. In the US, both civil and criminal courts are big business.

    Never confuse, justice, punishment, common sense, or even simple reason and logic with the US legal system. Why else do you believe the US has more lawyers than any other country in the world - and still has a shortage?

    Maybe, one day, in my life time, The People will actually get their legal system back - and the genocide of lawyers will begin. I just had to throw that last part in. ;)

    Technically, according to US law, the person discovering the pictures on the phone can be charged with possession of child pornography (they legally took possession of the phone) as simple possession is all that is required. You don't even have to be aware you are in possession or have any intent of such material to have your life destroyed by this law.

    If the courts were worth anything at all, they would toss the DA into jail for 30 days while fining him for lost court time while he's sitting in jail, and remind him this is an issue for families, not courts. If more judges did the "Right Thing" many of these problems wouldn't be a problem at all.

  • Re:Wow. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Shadow of Eternity (795165) on Tuesday January 20, 2009 @01:33PM (#26531029)

    Here's some more mental gymnastics for you: What happens if they are tried as adults?

    If they're charged as adults then they obviously have the maturity to understand the full consequences of their actions and so forth, but the original incident was illegal because they DONT have that level of maturity yet.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday January 20, 2009 @01:34PM (#26531041)

    Please change that from "extreme conversatives" to "extreme christians".

    It's possible to be conservative in fiscal matters yet not buy into the mainstream assumption of religiousity.

  • by kalirion (728907) on Tuesday January 20, 2009 @01:36PM (#26531057)

    Frankly, if I was the parent of any of these teens, I would start filing suit against EVERY major media provider that influences children with their unavoidable crap selling sexuality to teenagers.

    How is that different from what Jack Thompson did?

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday January 20, 2009 @01:37PM (#26531081)

    17 year old guys can be pretty stupid, maybe it was his wallpaper, or maybe he was showing the pics to his friends at school and a teacher saw.

    Either way, I only hope that more arrests like these happen and that the girls get to explain WHY theyre sex offenders when going door to door. Maybe then awareness might be high enough that the laws can change.

  • by Technician (215283) on Tuesday January 20, 2009 @01:37PM (#26531089)

    On a more serious note, when did mere nudity = porn? There are nude beaches, nudist colonies, clothing optional hotels, cruises, etc. I think someone may have crossed nudity with porn. Was there a sex act or adult involved?

  • by TheMeuge (645043) on Tuesday January 20, 2009 @01:38PM (#26531109)

    "Troll"

    WTF? Someone certainly must be on crack here. Children who did nothing, other than violate school rules, and experiment with their sexuality get to have their entire lives ruined... and nobody along the way says "hold on..." ... and I get marked "Troll". You guys have a twisted view of the world...

  • by Kokuyo (549451) on Tuesday January 20, 2009 @01:39PM (#26531141) Journal

    I resent the person who modded this troll. While very cynical, I find it describes the current problem very adequately.

  • by Xebikr (591462) on Tuesday January 20, 2009 @01:40PM (#26531149)
    Child porn laws should exist as a way to keep adults from hurting children. Not to give adults yet another way they can hurt kids. This whole thing is moronic in the extreme.
  • by morcego (260031) on Tuesday January 20, 2009 @01:42PM (#26531185)

    Can we neuter them ? We don't want that kind of genes polluting our gene pool.

  • by GbrDead (702506) on Tuesday January 20, 2009 @01:43PM (#26531195) Homepage
    The National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy reported last month that a survey of 1,280 teens and young adults found that 20 percent of the teens said they had sent or posted nude or semi nude photos or videos of themselves. That number was slightly higher for teenage girls - 22 percent - vs. boys - 18 percent.

    So Mr. Seranko wants to put 20% of all teenagers in jail? Yay for him and the twisted "justice" system.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday January 20, 2009 @01:48PM (#26531307)

    Seriously, THINK OF THE CHILDREN!

    Think of the negative body image that results from thinking your body is some evil thing that must be hidden from the world.

    Think of how they're going to think they are "disgusting" because nobody should be allowed to see them.

    Think about how, oddly, sex between these minors would have been legal, but a private photo is supposedly not.

    There was no abuse. There was no child molester. There were just 6 teens, doing completely natural things. What they were doing was ok, it was healthy, and telling them it was bad is not healthy. Like I said, think of the children v.v

  • by sexconker (1179573) on Tuesday January 20, 2009 @01:51PM (#26531367)

    No, you don't lose them, they are violated.

    It's only bullshit because people allow it to be bullshit.

  • by Forge (2456) <kevinforge@noSpaM.gmail.com> on Tuesday January 20, 2009 @01:51PM (#26531375) Homepage Journal
    Nudity is an objective measure (Is that a clitoris or acne at one end of a dimple?) while Porn is a subjective measure (Isn't double fisting really art?)

    What should be done is to simply extend what already exists in common law (Jamaican, not US) for statutory rape to pornography. Specifically consent is a valid defense if the victim is the same age or older than the accused. Not only that when the accused is older the age gap in cases where consent is admitted is used to mitigate the sentence.
    I.e. a 25 year old guy will spend years in prison for screwing his 15 year old "girlfriend". A 18 year old guy gets probation.

    Apply that principle to child porn and you won't waste time prosecuting kids for pictures of themselves or their classmates.
  • Re:Wow. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by dgatwood (11270) on Tuesday January 20, 2009 @01:51PM (#26531381) Journal

    Oh wait, I forgot Child Porn laws are no longer about the harm and damage done to the child during the creation of the material in question...

    Child porn laws were never about protecting the victim. If they were, possession would not be a crime. In fact, if child porn laws were designed to protect children, they would explicitly provide for the legality of possession unless the possessor is also the producer so that people would be more comfortable coming forward to the police and show this stuff to them to get the producers caught.

    As soon as you make possession of anything a crime, you've crossed the line from trying to protect the victims into the territory of trying to prevent a type of thought or behavior. It's all about cleansing the public of what certain groups consider "bad thoughts". <sarcasm>God help us all if teenagers think about sex. God help us doubly so if a 17-year-old (or worse, 18) thinks about sex with a 15-year-old. That's a grave danger to our society....</sarcasm>

    If child porn laws were designed to protect children, they would never apply to the exchange of material between two consenting people regardless of age because that is not the exploitation of children. It should only apply to the further proliferation of that material or to situations in which an adult more than... I don't know, eight years older than the non-adult... takes the photographs himself/herself. Here why: if a teenager is over at your house and flashes you, nothing happens, but if she decides to send you a photo of her flashing you via email or AIM, you can go to jail for receiving it even if you didn't ask for it. That's not justice---not by any stretch of the imagination. That's entrapment.

    No, child porn laws were never about protecting the children from molestation, etc. They were always about a puritanical desire to cleanse the world of thoughts that the most conservative elements of society consider bad. The number of people arrested for child porn possession has been steadily rising, but the child molestation rate has been steadily dropping. If there were any truth at all to the flawed concept that reducing child porn will reduce molestation, the molestation rate should have been increasing proportional to the possession. Because there is not only not a correlation, but also a reverse correlation, we can state fairly definitively that criminalizing possession (except in cases where the possessor also produced it) has had zero or negative impact on reducing child molestation.

    So why is it a law, then? Because a lot of people are attached to their naive little fantasy that adults are never attracted to anyone until they turn 18 and then they magically become attractive. This is, of course, absurd. The reasons 40-year-old guys don't sleep with 16-year-old girls are twofold. First, the 16-year-olds aren't interested. Second, the 40-year-old guys have enough self control to realize that if the 16-year-olds were interested, it would probably be taking advantage of them.

    That said, this is just as true for a 40-year-old and an 18-year-old. People don't magically become "adults" at 18. There are many, many people I know who I have considered children well into their late 20s and many, many people I know who I have considered adults at 14. People mature emotionally and mentally at radically different rates, and you can't come up with an non-absurd law that protects the naive from their own naïveté---ban anything sexual involving people under 30? Yeah, that's going to fly. So instead, we continue with the naive belief that these laws help people when in fact they don't do crap.

    About the only law that would make sense would be a law that somehow says that you can't get someone to pose nude if that person is not already sexually active, but that becomes a he-said, she-said problem, making it a nearly useless law. Better to just drop this law on the floor entirely. Laws against child porn possession don't serve the public interest, and this case is just further proof of that, along with the dozen other cases like it in the last year....

  • by jythie (914043) on Tuesday January 20, 2009 @01:51PM (#26531385)

    It is comments like this that make me sad that slashdot moderation only goes up to +5.

  • Re:utter crap (Score:4, Insightful)

    by serviscope_minor (664417) on Tuesday January 20, 2009 @01:51PM (#26531387) Journal

    yes, there were such parties when i was at school

    You went to a better school thasn me. :-(

  • by MagusSlurpy (592575) on Tuesday January 20, 2009 @01:52PM (#26531395) Homepage
    . . . pics or it didn't happen.
  • Indeed (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday January 20, 2009 @01:52PM (#26531399)
    Hopefully? Soon.

    Society needs a common outcast, and pedophiles make a damn fine target. So fine, in fact, that collateral damage is obviously acceptable, due to an abundant lack of reform on these laws.

    You can only label so many witches before you're drowning in them.
  • by WCMI92 (592436) on Tuesday January 20, 2009 @01:56PM (#26531471) Homepage

    We need more prosecutions of overzealous prosecutors and judges.

    Start putting some of them in the klink and then maybe you will have some rational common sense return to the legal system.

    Child porn laws exist and were CLEARLY intended to apply to ADULTS who created, obtained, or distributed such photos/whatever.

    Anyone who has baby pictures better burn them/destroy the evidence... IMHO, this is a way of manufacturing a crime in order to make some idiot prosecutor and the equally irresponsible court that will hear this look like they are doing something.

  • by hattig (47930) on Tuesday January 20, 2009 @01:57PM (#26531495) Journal

    Oh I'm sure the "sex offender" list somehow isn't effected by the age someone is, and is never wiped.

    Why aren't there thief lists? Murderer lists? Fraud lists? These are far more important to know, especially as some of these have high re-offending rates.

    Or maybe, just maybe, the idea of a sex offender list is wrong, and once someone has served their time, they've served their time. Maybe they can be on a list if they're released early up until the end of their sentence - but the same goes for other offenders as well. And the severity needs noting - violent stranger rape versus taking a piss.

  • by cayenne8 (626475) on Tuesday January 20, 2009 @01:59PM (#26531521) Homepage Journal
    I"m a little shocked too at the leap the level to trigger a crime has come to.

    So now...simple nudity == porn? In this case a nude person under 18 is now considered child porn?

    Ok..so, now, parents that take pics of their nude kids, not in sexual situations, are not manufacturers of child porn?

    Hell, what about people that are nudists? I can't imagine they have many pictures of themselves, friends or family that have clothes on. Will we throw the book at them too?

  • by WCMI92 (592436) on Tuesday January 20, 2009 @02:02PM (#26531555) Homepage

    "Thats a misconception. They want you to think you do, however just because you enter a school doesn't give them the right to remove your rights."

    This is correct, especially given that most schools are government entities, and workers there government employees. The Constitution specifically lays down rights that it expressly forbids the government to infringe upon, hence no legislature ("Congress shall make no law") can grant them such authority.

    If a policeman can't do it to you because it's an infringement of rights, you can bet your ass a teacher or school administrator also can't do it for the same reason.

    If this "evidence" was gained due to an illegal search by government school employees, then it's "spoiled" evidence that can't be used.

  • by hedwards (940851) on Tuesday January 20, 2009 @02:04PM (#26531601)

    It's a tough problem, but I'm not really sure what purpose charging the girls, with manufacturing and distributing child porn really is. Yes it's bad to have those sorts of pictures made and distributed, but is it really productive to send children to juvie for taking photos of themselves?

    I'm not really sure that this is the sort of crime that the lawmakers writing the legislation had in mind when they passed it.

  • by Evanisincontrol (830057) on Tuesday January 20, 2009 @02:05PM (#26531621)

    Their lives are ruined maybe because they have decided to take pictures of themselves and send them.

    No, their lives are ruined because society is punishing them for following basic human instincts: exploring and trying to understand their sexuality.

    I think the sad part of this, is that they are willing to do this. Lets correct this type of behavior now before they do worst later in live, then maybe we can better their lives.

    "correct this type of behavior"? Trying to understand their own bodies is something that needs to be "corrected"? That might be the single most simple-minded thing I've ever heard on Slashdot, and that's counting every anonymous coward troll post I've ever read. If you truly believe that children need to be sheltered inside an iron cage until society arbitrarily deems them as "adults", then I pray you never hold any kind of office.

    If children aren't allowed to experience the world, then as adults they will walk blindly into it and wither.

  • by LandDolphin (1202876) on Tuesday January 20, 2009 @02:11PM (#26531751)
    Jump the gun a bit?

    This was not mom and pop taking photos of their 3 year old in the bath tub. This was Teenage girls taking nude pictures for thier boyfrieds.male friends. The pictures they took would obviously fall under pornographic. They were sexual in nature.
  • by TurinPT (1226568) on Tuesday January 20, 2009 @02:15PM (#26531825)
    The State must declare the child to be the most precious treasure of the people. As long as the government is perceived as working for the benefit of the children, the people will happily endure almost any curtailment of liberty and almost any deprivation. ~Adolf Hitler.
  • by Chyeld (713439) <chyeld&gmail,com> on Tuesday January 20, 2009 @02:15PM (#26531839)

    I can't, in my wildest imagination, imagine a stupider response to the idea that three children are being charged with the offense of child porngraphy, for pictures of themselves and three others for receiving them, then "Maybe they shouldn't have been using their cell phones in class."

    Do you have any fucking idea what just the fact that they've been charged will do to their lives? How many jobs are now barred to them just because this charge will be on their records? Much less the complete ruination of their life if they are found guilty?

    This is BARELY above Taliban 'bury a girl in the sand and throw stones at her head till she's dead because she was raped by someone' level stupidity.

  • by mea37 (1201159) on Tuesday January 20, 2009 @02:20PM (#26531979)

    "I'm not really sure that this is the sort of crime that the lawmakers writing the legislation had in mind when they passed it."

    Probably true. I suspect we're seeing some combination of two things.

    First, people may legitimately be struggling to interpret a complex and arguably vague law that addresses a lot of sensitive issues. The executive branch may not understand whether a given picture meets the law's definition of child pornography. Maybe they confidently believe, rightly or wrongly, that it does, and that it is their duty to pursue the case. Even if the legislature didn't intend this act to qualify, they may have written the law too broadly for their real intent.

    Second, there may be people rationalizing a fit between the laws on the books and the activities they want to prohibit - a practice given considerable backing in the Drew "hacking" case not long ago.

    Either way, that's what the judicial branch is for -- to interpret the law and apply it to the facts of the specific case as determined at trial. It's not ideal; the system will never be perfect. These kids may be dragged through the mud only to be acquitted in the end; and if that's how it goes, we would hope that as the law becomes better understood (or gets rewritten/replaced with something more clear), the charges raised should come into increased alignment with what the law says. The executive branch shouldn't knowingly misinterpret the law, just as the legislative shouldn't knowingly pass unconstitutional laws; but that doesn't mean that the executive should be required to perform the full function of the judicial before acting.

  • by nstlgc (945418) on Tuesday January 20, 2009 @02:20PM (#26531989)
    From your post I understand that when a girl takes a picture of herself, sends it to a boy, and the timing is right, it's ok for the boy to be charged? :/
  • by TheTurtlesMoves (1442727) on Tuesday January 20, 2009 @02:21PM (#26532009)
    I really don't like this sort of thing being called child porn or the people looking at this stuff pedophiles. The girls where 14 and 15, that is not a child. Perhaps underage for that sort of thing but its not child porn. They are biologically much more a woman than a girl. (my friends daughter had C boobs at 13...)
  • by dk90406 (797452) on Tuesday January 20, 2009 @02:23PM (#26532063)
    The girls can get even by messaging the pictures to prosecutors and the ratting teacher. Pedophile teachers have a hard time getting another teaching job.
  • Re:Family album (Score:4, Insightful)

    by mewshi_nya (1394329) on Tuesday January 20, 2009 @02:23PM (#26532075)

    It's not pedophiles that kids need to be protected, it's child molesters. While there is some sizable overlap, not all pedophiles are bad people who want to kidnap your daughter, tie her up, rape her, and videotape the whole god-forsaken ordeal.

    Get over it, some pedophiles can control their urges.

  • by cayenne8 (626475) on Tuesday January 20, 2009 @02:28PM (#26532231) Homepage Journal
    "This was not mom and pop taking photos of their 3 year old in the bath tub. This was Teenage girls taking nude pictures for thier boyfrieds.male friends. The pictures they took would obviously fall under pornographic. They were sexual in nature."

    Not really, the law treats all child porn as ANYONE imaged in a sexual way under the age or 18...that is the 3yr just as it is the 16 yr old. There are no layers of child porn.

    That being said...and of course I've not seen the pics, but, if it was a simple nude self portrait, no in the past, that was not considered porn. The test used to be if it was in an overt sexual nature...like getting fucked, or even maybe a masturbatory pose, but, a simple nude pic of even under age of 18 kids was not in the past considered child porn. Only in recent years has this started to change, and yes, the same law that can prosecute these kids can indeed prosecute parents of 3 yr olds. It IS the very same law...and it is being applied possibly to simple nudes. Hell, there are art magazines in your local library with nudes of people well under age of 18, that in the past have not been labeled as child porn. Heck, until recently, album covers by Blind Faith [wikipedia.org] and the Scorpions [wikipedia.org] were not considered child porn...until recently with this mindset that we have to 'think of the children'.

  • by oldspewey (1303305) on Tuesday January 20, 2009 @02:30PM (#26532301)

    If only there were some way to force all girls and women to wear some kind of head-to-toe covering that conceals any hint of shape or form. Even catching sight of a female face might induce men to think impure thoughts, so it's probably best if only the eyes are visible through some sort of slit in a veil.

    Enforcement of this dress code might be a problem though ... so perhaps there is some way to make it a religious requirement that women be completely covered this way ... maybe by proclaiming that it is the will of God.

    Naaaahhhh ... that would probably never work ...

  • by NormalVisual (565491) on Tuesday January 20, 2009 @02:40PM (#26532499)
    They may have looked at the contents in order to identify the owner of the phone so that it could be returned to the proper owner.

    Or they could just as easily have made a note of who they took the phone from, and return it to that person.

    The part that gets me is that there's been no common sense applied here. The supposed "victims" are going to end up with just as much of a criminal record as the boys they sent the pictures to, so what exactly is the net benefit to society here? Sounds to me like there's a DA that's more interested in his political ambitions than anything else, and hopefully this will clearly show this individual's lack of fitness for office due to his lack of judgement.
  • by Chyeld (713439) <chyeld&gmail,com> on Tuesday January 20, 2009 @02:41PM (#26532535)

    Intent.

    That is the only thing the prosecution needs to prove.

    What was the intent of the photo? It was a photo between 'lovers'. I don't think it'd be hard for them to prove the intent was salacious.

    And once they do that the deed is done. It could be a picture of your fat Uncle Eddie in a mouse suit when he was 8, it doesn't matter. It's considered child porn.

    The outrage here is that the people being charged are also the subjects of the photos. Charging a minor with creating child porn when taking pictures of themselves is all sorts of "stupid". Considering the photos themselves pornographic isn't.

  • by Rob the Bold (788862) on Tuesday January 20, 2009 @02:42PM (#26532567)

    OR

    The kids can actually OBEY the rules (gasp, horror) and not use cell phones in violation of campus rules!

    . . .

    You know, sometimes the kids actually deserve to get caught. I know that all these "rules" are a pain, but if you teach contempt for rules (even if you don't like them) you'll end up with people who CAN NOT fathom why there are any rules in the first place, and who don't know which rules to follow, so they end up SHOCKED when the rules are enforced.

    I see what you're going for here. Rules are rules, and it they're not obeyed there will be chaos, dogs and cats sleeping together, etc. Now I'm not an authoritarian personality type like you, but I do agree that if kids break the "using cell phone in school" rule they should be disciplined. However, I think they should be disciplined for the infraction of breaking the "cell phone in school" rule, and not the "distributing kiddy porn" rule. Cause when we start charging murderers with speeding and kidnappers with building code violations and parking violators with treason, the law and those enforcing it start to appear, for lack of a better word, stupid. And the more people believe that the law and its enforcers are stupid, then the fewer people are gonna go along with your "order at all costs" campaign. So it's in your interest too to make sure that we follow the old maxim and make "the punishment fit the crime".

  • Re:Child Molestors (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Belial6 (794905) on Tuesday January 20, 2009 @02:59PM (#26533055)
    I know I have far more fear that my child will be arrested and excommunicated (what else can we call it) from society for doing nothing wrong than I have of any 'terrorist' blowing him up. The US/state/local governments are definitely more of a threat to him than the 'terrorist' and the 'internet pedophiles' by a wide margin.
  • by Mr. Picklesworth (931427) on Tuesday January 20, 2009 @03:03PM (#26533147) Homepage

    I'm most bothered by that last line: "You don't realize what you are doing until it's already done."

    That person should speak for himself. Maybe ignoramuses like him are ignorant to what those letters on the screen say, but I am not and there is no evidence that those kids are not.

  • by gregbot9000 (1293772) <mckinleg@csusb.edu> on Tuesday January 20, 2009 @03:25PM (#26533779) Journal

    It's a tough problem,

    No it isn't. It is a very simple one, charge based on harm. child porn=abuse, abuse=harm, harm=jail.

    Yes it's bad to have those sorts of pictures made and distributed,

    Again, no it isn't. That's your opinion. It isn't the job of the state to enforce your moral opinion. These were pictures made by individuals of their own volition. Prosecuting them in anyway is a gross violation of their most basic liberties.

    I'm not really sure that this is the sort of crime that the lawmakers writing the legislation had in mind when they passed it

    This is exactly the kind of prosecution they hoped for. The goal of laws like this is to control human behavior that certain groups dislike, namely pornography and sexuality. it has very little to actually do with CP. They just come through the back door riding the CP train and started bending the law as they always wanted to. They don't feel that people can make decisions for themselves.

    You shouldn't look at the law as a means to enforce what is "right" and "wrong" from a moral stance, but as a means of protecting peoples rights. If you don't, more laws like this will come out of the woodwork.

  • by SCHecklerX (229973) <thecaptain@captaincodo.net> on Tuesday January 20, 2009 @03:34PM (#26534065) Homepage

    And, they were taken by the girls themselves. Who was being exploited here? Isn't that the point of the laws, to deal with the sick fucks who exploit children? Not to mention 15yo girls are *JAILBAIT* not CP.

    A law that can be used so easily to prosecute somebody for the wrong reasons needs to be abolished.

  • by jeffasselin (566598) <cormacolinde@@@gmail...com> on Tuesday January 20, 2009 @03:38PM (#26534179) Journal

    Ok..so, now, parents that take pics of their nude kids, not in sexual situations, are not manufacturers of child porn?

    Yes, at least according to some people. You haven't heard of heard of such cases of parents being accused of child pornography because they had sent pictures of themselves with their naked children in the bathtub to be developed?

    The charges were dropped after some outcry, but the accusations were raised nevertheless.

    The child pornography FUD is just a new campaign to give more power to those who would exploit us. After the War on Drugs, the War on Terrorism, now comes the War on Child Pornography. When everyone is a criminal, there is no need to fabricate evidence to imprison you because they don't like what you're saying or doing.

  • by gregbot9000 (1293772) <mckinleg@csusb.edu> on Tuesday January 20, 2009 @03:43PM (#26534277) Journal
    You see, in the name of protecting children we have created a situation where they have no rights, none. They can't consent, or create contracts, they must have permits to get work, they aren't allowed after dark. Segregation blacks had more liberties. Some 16 year old's do have bank info, and go to college, and work, and statistically the average age that people lose their virginity is 14. I don't know when the last time you were in an US highschool, but you have no rights, and they make damn sure to ingrain this into you. We wonder why our nation is going to pot? I look at the 4 year forced indoctrination the government runs to teach people not how to think critically, but that they rule you. Its no surprise that they now feel they own your naked body.
  • Except they'll be charged as adults. We do it all the time -- deny children the rights of adults, but hold them to the same responsibilities and punishments.

    It's just particularly ironic in this case because, if they were adults at the time of the act, the act wouldn't be a crime.
  • by iamhassi (659463) on Tuesday January 20, 2009 @04:19PM (#26535101) Journal
    "They're already blind."

    Unfortunately not, otherwise they couldn't see the photos.

    my gf says she should be in jail and so should her teenage sister. According to her, 90% of teenage girls with cellphones would be in jail if authorities looked at their phones.

    Can you imagine the conversation with police being a 15 yr old girl and being "caught" with photos of yourself?

    cop: YOU'RE UNDER ARREST FOR KIDDIE PORN!
    girl: huh? what porn? oh, yeah that's me, i sent it to my bf
    cop: YOU'RE UNDER ARREST
    girl: what? for what? that's me, i took that photo, i took a photo of myself
    cop: that's right, and you're under arrest
    girl: why? I don't think you understand: I took a photo of MYSELF, I am a teenage girl, I took a photo of myself with my phone, how is that "kiddie porn"?
    cop: so you admit to talking naked photos teenage girls? I have to remind you anything you say can and will be used against you in the court of law
    girl: What?! *shocked* ... but... I... nvmd...


    This is the most asine thing I've ever heard, but I don't think the laws will change until:
    A) the girls become lawmakers and politicians in 10 yrs
    b) lawmakers look at their daughter's phone and find the nude photos of their *own* daughters

    I can't believe the legal system is taking normal teens and turning them into criminal sex offenders. For the rest of their lives these girls will be considered "sex offenders", won't be able to live near schools, their name, address and police photos will be listed online for all to see, and will not be able to get a job that works with children and will probably be denied many jobs because they are "sex offenders", lumped in the same category as rapists. Even if someday the laws are reversed and they're cleared of all charges it'll still follow them, searches online will probably pick up their names for many years.

    Child pornography laws were put in place to prevent dirty old men from offering little children candy in exchange for getting naked for photos. Unfortunately the laws were worded very poorly and now *anyone*, including the children taking photos of themselves, are being treated like dirty old men. They're martyrs. The laws need to be re-written so it only applies to the dirty old men taking the photos, not the child that takes photos of themselves or the men that downloads a photo of a girl and finds out later the girl was 17 and not 18 and goes to jail, similar to marijuana laws in many states, where police won't even enforce laws saying to arrest offenders with less than an ounce of marijuana [boston.com]

    And don't even get me started how stupid it is we as Americans teach our children that the nude body is horrible and disgusting and should be hidden but showing people being murdered and chopped into pieces on TV and video games is fine. A teen just got 36 yrs for murder for doing what he saw on mortal kombat [denverpost.com], if he was re-enacting nudity videos instead of violent video games he probably wouldn't be in jail.

    If I was one of those girls I think I'd move to another country and change my name.
  • by e-Flex (1219042) on Tuesday January 20, 2009 @04:22PM (#26535187) Homepage
    Isn't the bad in child pornography the very fact that a child is forced to something of which he/she can't consent to based on their low age, not the fact that someone later might get aroused by said picture? Were they forced to take these?
  • by Hatta (162192) on Tuesday January 20, 2009 @04:22PM (#26535199) Journal

    What should be done is to simply extend what already exists in common law (Jamaican, not US) for statutory rape to pornography. Specifically consent is a valid defense if the victim is the same age or older than the accused. Not only that when the accused is older the age gap in cases where consent is admitted is used to mitigate the sentence.
    I.e. a 25 year old guy will spend years in prison for screwing his 15 year old "girlfriend". A 18 year old guy gets probation.

    No. This is wrong. Either a person is able to consent to sex, or they are not. If that person can consent to sex with an 18 year old partner, they are able to consent to sex with a 50 year old partner. Charging either individual differently is nothing less than age discrimination. Just because you think it's gross for a 15 year old to fuck a 50 year old doesn't mean anyone should go to jail over it.

    Of course, none of this counts if any sort of coercion.

  • by Opportunist (166417) on Tuesday January 20, 2009 @04:24PM (#26535237)

    So Palin's daughter is a filthy, nasty pervert?

    Ok, given the mother, it's understandable...

  • by Symbha (679466) on Tuesday January 20, 2009 @04:28PM (#26535319)

    Why does so much of our legislation not pass the commone sense test?

  • by Chyeld (713439) <chyeld&gmail,com> on Tuesday January 20, 2009 @04:38PM (#26535545)

    Actually the argument most often used against child porn is that it 'encourages the abuse of children', this often allows 'them' to go after even non-photographic items such as drawings or computer renderings.

    Similar to how regular porn is gone after not because it was 'non consensual' but because it 'encourages immoral behavior'.

  • by ultranova (717540) on Tuesday January 20, 2009 @04:42PM (#26535659)

    No it isn't. It is a very simple one, charge based on harm. child porn=abuse, abuse=harm, harm=jail.

    Actually no, it isn't at all simple. For example, if some pedophile masturbates to pictures of me in a bath as a baby, he's clearly finding them sexually exciting, and thus pornographic, yet I was not harmed in the least by either them being taken or by his activities about them later. And as this case shows, since the law defines everything under 18 as "child pornography", and since teenagers under this are already sexually aware and often active, we get to the situation where laws that were presumably intended to protect kids from predators are used against people interacting with their peers, or even photographing themselves.

    As an end result, we have laws based on oversimplification of someone's wistful thoughts about reality where everyone under 18 is a "pure, innocent child" and things like "pornography" can be defined. Such a world has never existed and will never exist, yet we're enforcing laws based on it and harming the very people they were supposed to protect in the process.

    Of course I'm making a rather huge assumption here: that the lawmaker was merely incompetent, rather than outright malevolent. However, my more cynical side agrees with your assessment that this is all going according to their will...

    You shouldn't look at the law as a means to enforce what is "right" and "wrong" from a moral stance, but as a means of protecting peoples rights. If you don't, more laws like this will come out of the woodwork.

    That won't work. That standard is just ripe for abuse than the standard of right and wrong. Once upon a time, when women were struggling for a vote, one of the arguments against it was that it would "sully" them with politics, thus violating their "right" to be pure. This would simply lead to similar arguments used to justify abuse, all in the name of protecting the victim of course.

    You can't come up with any kind of principle that power-hungry people couldn't twist to serve as an excuse to lord it over other people. It's just not possible.

  • by Eudial (590661) on Tuesday January 20, 2009 @04:49PM (#26535823)

    Since when have they had balls? (let alone a spine?)

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday January 20, 2009 @04:56PM (#26535981)

    "Considering the photos themselves pornographic isn't stupid.

    Oh yes it is, and so are you.

    That the hell is that, the "I know you are but what am I?" defense, famously used in the 1872 case of Uh huh v. Nuh uh?

    You aren't a lawyer, and you have no fucking idea what you are talking about.

    "It is my opinion that the sky is blue." "You aren't an astrophysicist, so STFU." Sounds logical to me.

    I am a lawyer, and I am weary of idiots like you thinking they know how to interpret the law.

    Would your name happen to be Lionel Hutz [wikipedia.org]? Because with argumentative skills as shitty as yours, you can't be a very successful attorney (if you really are one, and not some punk kid who things saying "I'm a lawyer" grants you instant authority). I wouldn't hire you to represent me even if you did throw in most of an Orange Julius as a freebie to sweeten the deal.

  • by celle (906675) on Tuesday January 20, 2009 @05:02PM (#26536119)

    You forget that in this country we ignore laws that are on the books all the time. In many places there are speeding laws from the 1920s when the limit was still 15mph. They are still valid just not enforced. Its amazing that we deny kids all the freedoms that adults have, under the constitution they actually have them, and then we charge them with adult violations for doing things that are actually legal as adults. Just because some puritan prosecutor/lawmaker is in office shouldn't shift how laws are interpreted. I hope the kid/parents challenge on discrimination which is what it is. Let's not forget the idiot lawmakers who passed these crappy "for the children" laws that are now harrassing children.

    Treat this as the kid to kid garbage that it is, There's no adults, well except the cops and school adminstrators (should they be charged too?), involved so I don't see how its child porn anyway. There's alot more out there to worry about than kids new version of "you show me your wee-wee and i'll show you mine". Any prosecutor that punishes for this, after all he probably did it too, should be run out on a rail. I won't get into what we should do to lawmakers wasting public time and money on this.

  • by homes32 (1265404) on Tuesday January 20, 2009 @05:06PM (#26536201)
    let not forget Nirvana's Nevermind. how many of us should be thrown in the lockup or owning that disc, and the stores prosecuted for distribution?
  • by ultranova (717540) on Tuesday January 20, 2009 @05:11PM (#26536325)

    I really don't know how it snowballed this far without any public outcry whatsoever.

    Well, user kaos07 [slashdot.org] summed it up nicely in this comment [slashdot.org]: "I think only one group of people defend those who watch child porn with such a stupid argument and I bet you know who they are."

    Everyone who speaks against "think of the children" crowd must be a pedophile, everyone who speaks against gun control laws must be a violent nutcase, everyone who speaks for them must be a fascist, everyone who speaks for abortion must be a bloodthirsty babykiller who wants to eat the aborted foetuses and everyone who speaks against it must want women chained to the stove. Everyone who speaks against Israel must be a Nazi, and everyone who speaks for it must be a supporter of Palestinian genocide. Everyone who speaks against death penalty wants murderers on the streets and everyone who speaks for it wants to execute jaywalkers. Everyone who is religious wants to brainwash our children to perform human sacrifices in a new Dark Age while all atheists are actually secretly worshipping the Devil and trying to get us all sent to Hell. In short, everyone who opposes me in any way is either evil, stupid or both and rapes baby squirrels besides.

    This is the cancer that's killing anything resembling rational thought in politics.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday January 20, 2009 @05:13PM (#26536353)

    So you figure that as long as you aren't physically attacked that being treated like a pariah until you are forced into homelessness [justnews.com] is ok? Interesting bit of rationalization you have there.

  • by syousef (465911) on Tuesday January 20, 2009 @07:18PM (#26538439) Journal

    Personally, I'd like to see those that brought these charges in turn charged with child endangerment, and possibly for possessing child pornography. I can't think of anything more evil than a law designed to protect children being turned against them to ruin their lives by people whose beliefs are twisted incompatible with the freedoms they pretend to protect.

  • by cbiltcliffe (186293) on Tuesday January 20, 2009 @07:24PM (#26538543) Homepage Journal

    Reasonable doubt? In a child pornography case?

    What planet do you live on?

  • by jasen666 (88727) on Tuesday January 20, 2009 @07:57PM (#26538933)

    They must be protected from abuse by ruining their lives! It's the only way!

  • by Sibko (1036168) on Tuesday January 20, 2009 @09:16PM (#26539997)

    Actually no, it isn't at all simple. For example, if some pedophile masturbates to pictures of me in a bath as a baby, he's clearly finding them sexually exciting, and thus pornographic, yet I was not harmed in the least by either them being taken or by his activities about them later.

    So what's the problem?

    I can't possibly agree with you on this. If no harm is being done, then why prosecute for it? The ONLY connection to harm you can make, tenuous at best, is thoughtcrime: That someone who masturbates to child porn will become a person who harms children through child molestation.

    Liberty or Security. Choose one.

  • by xero314 (722674) on Tuesday January 20, 2009 @10:09PM (#26540527)

    You shouldn't look at the law as a means to enforce what is "right" and "wrong" from a moral stance, but as a means of protecting peoples rights. If you don't, more laws like this will come out of the woodwork.

    The problem with this is that the protection of one "right" is by definition the oppression of another. My right to live is a violation of your right to kill me.

    Because of this, for there to be anything but chaos (not anarchy), there needs to be another measure used to determine what is allowed or not allowed in a given system. Politically this tends to be either moral, or economic. I tend toward believing a governments responsibility is one of economics and not morals, but I certainly do not consider myself to be in the majority.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday January 20, 2009 @10:29PM (#26540713)

    This is clearly a case of prosecutorial misconduct. Even the article states the only reason for the prosecution is to make an example of them.

  • by commodore64_love (1445365) on Tuesday January 20, 2009 @10:44PM (#26540873) Journal

    Ask the crusaders for morality this simple question: - If your neighbor in the privacy of his own home does X, does it harm your property, or your body, or your individual rights? "No." Then there's no reason to forbid your neighbor from doing X.

    X may be "smoke marijuana" or "worship Allah" or "have sex with guys" or "parade around naked".
    None of these activities should be banned.

  • by Omnifarious (11933) <eric-slash&omnifarious,org> on Wednesday January 21, 2009 @12:09AM (#26541635) Homepage Journal

    So, are kids going to be put in chastity belts by the state now until they're 18? I saw a non-representative sample of about 50-60 people, but in that sample the average age of the first clearly consensual sexual encounter was easily 13 or 14 and the youngest was 6. I would imagine that in a more random sample you would discover the age to be around 15-17.

    I don't think taking nude photos of yourself is an 'adult' activity either. Kids share all kinds of stuff with each other, and once they start being sexual, they are going to share sexual stuff, and they are going to use whatever medium is at hand, and I don't think that's wrong or 'inappropriate'.

    What we need is to recognize that children are sexual beings and often capable of making their own decisions regarding their sexuality. We need to recognize that there are varying levels of competence in making those decisions in different children.

    The blunt instrument of statutory rape and child porn laws need to be much more careful and refined in how they operate.

    But, right now, our society is in a phase where we want to pretend that children have no genitalia or sexual feelings whatsoever until they're 18. Including, it seems, you.

  • by MidnightBrewer (97195) on Wednesday January 21, 2009 @12:55AM (#26542031)

    The kids' parents should sue for invasion of privacy. Exactly how easy was it for the teachers who confiscated the phones to find those photos? You'd have to be looking through all the photos on the phone to find them, or reading personal messages. That in itself is a serious crime. I take cell phones off of kids in class often, but the idea of looking at the contents of their phones? Absolutely not. I'd get in all sorts of trouble.

  • by Alsee (515537) on Wednesday January 21, 2009 @05:53AM (#26543705) Homepage

    You're funny.

    Across most of the world and throughout most of history kids commonly got MARRIED in their teens, or even earlier. And you go on some delusional rant about ages going DOWN (laugh!) and *shock* *horror* some people see naked bodies before they graduate highschool.

    Across most of the world and throughout most of history kids commonly got MARRIED in their teens, or even earlier, normal routine common marriages with their parents approval. And you go on some delusional rant *OH MY GOD some people see naked bodies* before they graduate high school because there are a few freakish parents who don't teach their kids anything.

    You are an absolute riot. A delusional riot.

    I have news for you. People get horny. KIDS get horny. It generally kicks in pretty hard when puberty hits, and often earlier. Some parents have run to the doctor terrified that their infant is having some sort of epileptic seizure - turns out the infant's "seizure" was the rhythmic grinding of their genitals against the center post of the infant-seat between their legs. Hell, even FETUSES IN THE WOMB have been caught playing with themselves on ultrasound video.

    The idea that normal kids have no sexual thoughts or sexual feelings or sexual experimentation before the age of 18 is an extremely recent candyland fantasy. The notion that there has been a DECLINE in age is totally delusional. The notion that it only happens to the children of freakish irresponsible or perverted parents is totally delusional.

    Humans are born with a hardwired programmed urge for air.
    Humans are born with a hardwired programmed urge for food and drink.
    Humans are born with a hardwired programmed urge for sexual stimulation.

    The idea that it doesn't exist or doesn't kick in until your wedding night a decade after puberty is not normal.

    When I was in elementary school I up and grabbed by babysitter's tits and started squeezing them. Why? Because as a human male I am (and was) genetically programmed to find females attractive. Because as a human male I am (and was) genetically programmed to find tits extremely attractive and sexually arousing. That is NORMAL. Trying to blame it on my parents is as delusional as blaming my parents when I sneeze after getting pollen in my nose.

    Oh, and by the way, she enjoyed it and she was kind enough to return the favor.

    -

  • by Khyber (864651) <techkitsune@gmail.com> on Wednesday January 21, 2009 @02:04PM (#26548851) Homepage Journal

    "What we need is to recognize that children are sexual beings and often capable of making their own decisions regarding their sexuality."

    No. What we need to realize is that ANY SPECIES, once it gains the ability to reproduce, will attempt to mate. Displays of nudity are merely a courtship ritual. Girls will flash their tits, guys will drop drawers and waggle their cocks around. IT'S NATURAL FOR FUCK'S SAKE, and punishing these children under this law is absolute BULLSHIT.

    The DA prosecuting the case needs to be dragged out into the street and stoned to death. Same thing with the teacher that uncovered all this.

  • by Reziac (43301) * on Wednesday January 21, 2009 @02:28PM (#26549225) Homepage Journal

    Because anyone who has the balls to stand up and say "See here, this law is unjust" won't find their way into the jury box in the first place.

    And in today's political climate, I'd be worried about being investigated after being so bold.

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