Friday, March 27, 2009

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.



Blogger {cher} said...

i agree. i think some sort of disciplinary action should take place, but not to that extent. next thing you know, they'll be going after the parents as well, since they are the legal guardians of the supposed child porn peddling teens. it's insane.

March 27, 2009 at 1:49 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This should not be a legal matter. The answer in a Republic is to throw the bum out of office. But if the idiots in his district reelect him, well then it appears that stupidity rules there.
Also, prosecutors and police should be prosecuted when they abuse the law. That would be a wonderful counter to this nonsense.

March 27, 2009 at 11:21 PM  
Blogger PRIguy said...

Why don't Mommy and Daddy take away her cell phone, digital camera, computer and Internet access and make this oversexed little tyke use all of her apparently abundant free time volunteering at a nursing home?

March 29, 2009 at 4:50 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Somewhere along the line contemporary adults have to take the hit for fostering a society in which allowing 14-year-old girls to expose so much skin prompts mostly a yawn from their parents. The way kids dress has always been a sticking point, but anyone who has seen current TV. movies, the Internet and commercials for "Girls Gone Wild" has to be blind to think that young girls have a built-in sense of modesty equal to their forbearers. We get what we deserve. My question is, what are the daughters of these girls going to have to do to shock their meothers?

March 30, 2009 at 10:37 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The best punishment for this crime would be a year's ban from using or owning a cell phone.

I can get my teenage child to do any chore, including cleaning her bedroom, by threatening to take the cell phone away.

This incident is a collosal waste of time and money.

March 31, 2009 at 10:26 AM  

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