Don't authorities have anything better to do?
A New Jersey 14-year-old could end up in the slammer and be labeled a dangerous sex offender for posting nude photos of herself on MySpace. No, I'm not kidding. Targeting kids who transmit explicit photos of themselves appears to be the latest rage among prosecutors from coast to coast, including Pennsylvania, where the Wyoming County district attorney is threatening to bring criminal charges against three teenage girls who sent racy photos of themselves with their cell phones. I wrote about the Pennsylvania case previously, but now the girls are fighting back. They've filed a lawsuit against DA George Skumanick Jr., who is holding criminal prosecution over the teens’ heads in an effort to force them to take part in an after-school program. One of the girls in the photos was topless, but the other two were pictured in their bras. I'm guessing they show more skin when they're in their bathing suits, but Skumanick appears to be trying to make a name for himself. Maybe he's up for re-election soon. In the New Jersey case, the 14-year-old girl was arrested and charged with possession of child pornography and distribution of child pornography for posting her photos on MySpace so her boyfriend could see them. If she's found guilty of the distribution count, she might be forced to register under Megan's Law. The kid's clearly a nincompoop, but charging her as some sort of child porn purveyor is like killing a fly with a surface-to-air missile. And my opinion is shared by Maureen Kanka, whose raped and murdered daughter gave Megan's Law its name. Kanka said the Jersey teen definitely needs help, but not jail time. "This shouldn't fall under Megan's Law in any way, shape or form," Kanka told the AP. "She should have an intervention and counseling, because the only person she exploited was herself." Clearly, kids should not be littering the Internet with naked pictures of themselves, but the job of policing this kind of activity belongs to parents, not prosecutors. Our pornography and child-predator laws should not be bastardized in order to imprison kids who are guilty of little more than stupidity.