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Musician Jailed Over Prank YouTube Video 538

Posted by Soulskill
from the under-arrest-by-the-humor-police dept.
An anonymous reader writes "Evan Emory, a 21-year-old aspiring musician, edited together video of him singing a G-rated song to a bunch of giggling school kids with video of him singing a song with sexually explicit lyrics, and posted it on YouTube. For this stupid joke, done many times by professional comedians (all NSFW, obviously), and admittedly done without getting permission from the children shown 'hearing' him sing naughty words, he was arrested and could face 20 years in prison as a sex offender. On the pretext of looking for 'souvenirs' of child sexual abuse, his house has been searched by police, and the Muskegon County (Michigan) Prosecutor has insinuated (with no further evidence) that Emory actually wants to have sex with children and claims he 'victimized every single child in that classroom.' Emory insists he had no such intention."
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Musician Jailed Over Prank YouTube Video

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  • Streisand Effect (Score:4, Informative)

    by Trip6 (1184883) on Saturday February 19, 2011 @06:00PM (#35255832)

    That's the very next thing I want to watch!

    Seriously, this sounds pretty ridiculous...

  • by Barrinmw (1791848) on Saturday February 19, 2011 @06:02PM (#35255856)
    He wasn't saying sexual remarks to children, how about you RTFA.
  • Video Link (Score:2, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday February 19, 2011 @06:06PM (#35255888)

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aCXwx7xfIMY&feature=player_embedded

  • email (Score:5, Informative)

    by Sprouticus (1503545) on Saturday February 19, 2011 @06:22PM (#35255996)

    Here you go folks, let those at the Muskegon Prosecutors office know how you feel about their use of tax dollars....

    prosecutor@co.muskegon.mi.us

  • by WiglyWorm (1139035) on Saturday February 19, 2011 @06:33PM (#35256094) Homepage
    Legally, he is correct. Rationally, it's stupid that he's correct... But he's still correct.
  • Re:The Trauma Myth (Score:3, Informative)

    by davidwr (791652) on Saturday February 19, 2011 @09:53PM (#35257106) Homepage Journal

    False memory syndrome is real.

    Unfortunately, so are true suppressed memories. It's really hard on everyone when the evidence to support or refute the allegedly true memories is lost to time.

  • by McNally (105243) <mmcnally@nospaM.gmail.com> on Saturday February 19, 2011 @09:57PM (#35257126) Homepage

    By railroading this guy, what the Muskegon County Prosecutor is actually doing is weakening the severity of real child abuse in the public's mind by diluting it with dumb but ultimately harmless comedy.

    Gee, I wonder why he would possibly want to do that....

    Without knowing the particulars of this particular case, I still feel free to speculate that it's because the Muskegon County Prosecutor, a man named Tony Tague, is a self-promoting sleaze who loves nothing better than to get his name in the papers.

    I grew up in Muskegon County. Tague became prosecutor about the time I left to go to college, 20 years ago or so, and during that time he has repeatedly shown a penchant for pushing the envelope and excersising his considerable prosecutorial discretion to criminalize behavior in any case where he can whip up public outrage -- the first one I can remember was when he elected to prosecute a pregnant drug addict for delivery of cocaine to a minor -- her unborn child.

    His "family values" and "tough on crime" posturing resonate with a certain portion of the local electorate but I wouldn't describe the area as particularly prudish or inordinately socially conservative. It's less that the community is really up in arms about such things and more that Tague loves the publicity such cases bring and has been successful throughout his career in exploiting such cases to mobilize a certain segment of the electorate. Besides the sleaziness of such tactics, it's also pretty hard on the individuals who are singled out to advance his political career.

  • by InvisiBill (706958) <`ten.llibisivni' `ta' `todhsals'> on Saturday February 19, 2011 @10:05PM (#35257156) Homepage
    The article is using old information. Emory was arrested initially and released on a $5,000 bond. On Wednesday 2/16, he was arraigned on a felony charge of manufacturing child sexual abusive material. http://www.woodtv.com/dpp/news/local/muskegon_county/YouTube-singer-charged-with-felony [woodtv.com]
  • Re:The Trauma Myth (Score:4, Informative)

    by realityimpaired (1668397) on Saturday February 19, 2011 @10:05PM (#35257158)

    https://secure.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/wiki/Dissociative_disorder [wikimedia.org]
    and more specifically: https://secure.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/wiki/Dissociative_amnesia [wikimedia.org]

    One possible reason it can take until your adulthood for the effects to be seen is because your childhood mind represses something it simply can't deal with at a psychological level. The child either "forgets" what happened while the subconscious absorbs and understands what's happened, manifesting the trauma later in life, or they fracture. Sexual abuse in childhood is currently thought to be one of the leading triggers for Dissociative Identity Disorder [wikimedia.org] (multiple personalities), and the current research suggests that it's possible to live well into your adult life before you even become aware of an "other" sharing your body (and you may never be aware of it, though those around you may see it)

    The human psyche is something we're only barely beginning to understand. There's so much more work to be done in the field before it's as well understood as something like electricity... That said, there is a lot of evidence out there to support the idea that just because it can take years or decades for an event to actually affect your behaviour does not mean that the change in behaviour/psyche was not caused by that event. There could be a trigger later in life that brings a suppressed memory back into your conscious mind (it's well known that smell can sometimes trigger long-forgotten memories, for example), or it could simply work its way back into the foreground on its own.

  • by Cyberllama (113628) on Saturday February 19, 2011 @10:28PM (#35257264)

    He lied to the school to gain access to their kids.

    Debatable. He probably didn't lie per se, but rather simply failed to volunteer some key details. "I'd like to come sing for the children" vs " I'd like to come sing for the children, and then edit the video to appear as though I sang a much less appropriate song for comedic purposes". IANAL, but both are true in the technical sense.

    That is criminal trespass under almost any jurisdiction you could name.

    Even if we were to conclude he lied, and what you say here is true -- two big if's -- it still wouldn't matter. Criminal Trespass is not what he's being charged with and it's not a crime which carries a 20 year prison sentence and listing on a sex offender registry.

    Without permission, he used an empty classroom as a stage for his sexually explicit performance. That again is criminal trespass.

    He had permission -- not necessarily from the school itself, but from an employee of the school who was his friend.

    Without anyone's informed consent he edited videos of six and seven year old kids into his adolescent and obsene music video.

    Poor judgment perhaps, but at *worst* this is a civil matter -- not a criminal one.

    The video makes these kids part of the performance ---

    and that is all that Michigan law requires for prosecution on the felony charge.

    A court will decide that, but expect that if it agrees with you that another court will be asked to decide if the law itself can possibly be constitutional.

    The video was posted to YouTube and played to a local comedy club. That looks less like a prank and more like commercial exploitation.

    Irrelevant to anything. Again, if he's using people's likeness for a commercial gain, that might be a civil matter -- but never a criminal one.

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