This is topic Teen who posted own photo charged with child porn in forum Books, Films, Food and Culture at Hatrack River Forum.


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Posted by Richard Berg (Member # 133) on :
 
http://www.post-gazette.com/breaking/20040329pornp6.asp

quote:
State police have charged a 15-year-old Latrobe girl with child pornography for taking photos of herself and posting them on the Internet.

Police said the girl, whose identity they withheld, photographed herself in various states of undress and performing a variety of sexual acts. She then sent the photos to people she met in chat rooms.

A police report did not say how police learned about the girl. They found dozens of pictures of her on her computer.

She has been charged with sexual abuse of children, possession of child pornography and dissemination of child pornography.

Police said they are trying to identify all the people who receive photos from the girl.

I really don't know what to say. The mind boggles.

Ok, some exposition from the most positive point of view: digital imaging and networking technology has inverted our notions of public and private. No more leering eyes at Eckerd's opens up a way for kids (of all ages [Smile] ) to mess around -- more fun than their patented 6-hour phone calls, yet safer than any curriculum-endorsed "safe sex." Young men & women can find an appreciative audience of their scarily developing bodies that's sorely lacking in the locker room or bitchy clique.

Negatives: ok typed a bit and I can't even pretend to be unbiased. So: Thinking of minors as sexual beings is wrong. (Which is why absolutely no porn sites advertise their 18-year-olds as the youngest looking.) Girls open themselves to stalking. (Ditto if they walk the same route to school every day in a miniskirt.) Pornography degrades public morality. (Free speech isn't meant to cover stuff you approve of.) Unknown distribution could injure reputations beyond the consentee. (If you think a teen is going to ask permission first, or cares...)

A fair counterpoint I will be willing to discuss in more detail if asked, but not in the opening post: how do you know there is not abuse by an elder going on in the background?
 
Posted by Scott R (Member # 567) on :
 
Charging this girl with child pornography seems counter-intuitive, to me-- what's the point?

It would be much more effective to evaluate what her family life is like and get her into therapy. But to prosecute her? That's just stupid.

[ April 21, 2004, 07:51 AM: Message edited by: Scott R ]
 
Posted by Richard Berg (Member # 133) on :
 
I don't think playing doctor with a webcam is (necessarily, on its own) a cause for therapy, but your point about prosecution is more important. Any time police manpower is wasted on investigating teen girls being teen girls (or mere possession of jpegs which may not even be real, or double speed traps...) instead of catching child molestors, I think we should be in an uproar. We had a "difficult" time last week proving that porn was harmful to society, but I'll bet everyone here knows at least one person whose life was irreparably harmed by childhood abuse.
 
Posted by Chris Bridges (Member # 1138) on :
 
I'd guess the points are several.

They don't want to seem like they're condoning it by letting it slide.
They don't want child pornographers to think this constitutes a loophole.
They want to discourage other underage amateur photographers from doing the same thing.

I would not charge her with child abuse or possession of child pornography since the pictures are of herself and I would think that she could do whatever she wanted as long as she never showed them to anybody. If they must charge her with someething I'd stick with dissemination of child pornography since she did, but I would stress counseling over punishment and I wouldn't mark her as a sex offender for life.

Any of the adults who possess her pictures could and should be charged with possession and/or dissemination of child pornography if they knew before police informed them that the girl was underage.

It's an interesting situation, though. I was dating and sexually active with my girlfriend in high school when we were both underage. Once for fun we took playful semi-nude pictures of each other. It's now 23 years later, and we've still together. Would I be charged with possession of child pornography if I hadn't destroyed them? Should I be?
 
Posted by Dagonee (Member # 5818) on :
 
And I'm sure there's lots of people out there who would be glad to hear your plan for ending it based solely on more manpower. The "Why aren't you catching murderers, rapists, and child molestors" anti-police canard is tiresome.

A lot of those kids who are abused are abused to make kiddy-porn, so in general the resources there are well-spent. In pursuing the general goal of stopping people from abusing children, taking pictures of it, and making money off it they found this web site and prosecuted.

I'm failing to see the big problem.

Dagonee
 
Posted by Xaposert (Member # 1612) on :
 
Okay, these charges are just plain wrong...

-You can't sexually abuse yourself. That inconsistent with the whole idea of sexual abuse.
-You have a right to have pictures of yourself, even if they are pornographic pictures.
-You have a right to show those pictures to whoever you want. They are YOUR pictures of YOU and you can do what you want with them.
-The people you give your pictures to have a right to keep them, since you gave them freely and the pictures are of you.

Nobody has been abused here - she did not abuse herself. So where's the crime? If it's a matter of public morality, then free speech applies. Minors have free speech rights just as much as adults do.

I'm not sure what the law says on the matter, but illegal child porn should at least be defined in a way that does not include situations like this. If it's your choice to do it to yourself, it's not abuse of anyone.
 
Posted by TomDavidson (Member # 124) on :
 
Tres, there's a fairly major loophole here for ACTUAL child pornographers, though.

It must be argued that children simply can't be trusted to make the kind of voluntary choice that would permit them to distribute naked pictures of themselves. Otherwise, any child pornographer could say that he merely ASKED the girl to pose naked, and that she then asked him to take a look at some of the pictures with her later. And then, at her request, he showed her how to put them online.

Since most child pornography generally IS loosely "consensual," if you ignore issues of leverage and the like, creating a loophole for consensual child porn would be a nightmare.

Now, as has been pointed out, I don't think you can argue that she abused herself; I expect that charge to fizzle out pretty quickly. Distribution of child porn, though, should stick.
 
Posted by Kasie H (Member # 2120) on :
 
Is/should there be a distinction between distributing and selling?

Aren't ACTUAL child pornographers out to make a profit? Or am I wrong in thinking that?

Can't you *give* out naked pictures of yourself, but maybe not *sell* them, if you're underage?

[ April 21, 2004, 10:47 AM: Message edited by: Kasie H ]
 
Posted by imogen (Member # 5485) on :
 
I think it's murky. I don't necessarily think prosecution is the answer though.

Chris - the situation you expressed - well no, you shouldn't be charged.

Tres - I don't think it's that simple. As a purely legal point, minors don't have that right. (I think... at least, they don't in Australia).

To go back to Chris's example - what if you ( purely hypothetical - and I'm only using this because you used it first. Please tell me if you think I'm out of line.) showed those pictures to other people outside your marriage? What if those people were aroused by those pictures, then went looking for others, found some child pornography and became used to that?

I guess the thing is about child porn is the prohibition isn't solely about the harm to the person being photographed - but rather the harm that is caused by normalising the sexualisation of children.

And if the photos of the 15 year old are normalising this sexualisation - may maybe one day encourage a sicko (I can't think of a better word, sorry) to take his thoughts to reality -well, maybe they do need to be repressed.

[ April 21, 2004, 10:51 AM: Message edited by: imogen ]
 
Posted by Scott R (Member # 567) on :
 
Good points, Chris-- I didn't think about the distribution.
 
Posted by Xaposert (Member # 1612) on :
 
Children can make choices though - they do it all the time. Society can't just decide it don't trust them to make choices, and then argue their choices aren't really choices. That's just ignoring reality in order to violate the rights of minors.

I think this case proves that children can make the choice to do this sort of thing, since she obviously did choose to do it if she is being arrested for it.

And if it isn't child abuse, you can't call it illegal child porn because the reason child porn gets away with being illegal is because people claim it is always child abuse. If it is not child abuse, it becomes a simple matter of free speech.

And as for loopholes, yes, it does create a loophole. But the only thing that illustrates is that the argument for banning all child pornography is built on shaky foundations. It assumes abuse, when it is possible that the child has willingly chosen to do it. This case is, essentially, the counterexample.

And you can't take away rights and send seemingly innocent children to jail just to avoid having loopholes.
 
Posted by Chris Bridges (Member # 1138) on :
 
Some child pronographers are probably out to make a profit, certainly. Some just want pictures of kids in sexual situations. Since minors cannot give informed consent to pose for these pictures, they are evidence of a crime, and distribution and possession of them is also a crime.

"She took them voluntarily and gave them to me" is such a massive loophole that even if ignoring it violates her perceived civil rights, it cannot be allowed. In my opinion when she's 18 she can take more pics and distribute them all she wants to, but anything she takes right now had better stay on her computer.
 
Posted by Jim-Me (Member # 6426) on :
 
the whole reason this stuff is illegal is that minors are too young to make these choices with personal consent.

If that's the case, how can she, as a minor, possibly be competent to stand trial? If she's competent to stand trial, isn't she definitionally competent to make the choices?

I can see going after someone on this, but not the girl herself...

edit: I mean, they seem to be inclined to try her as an adult... and if she's an adult, what becomes of the charge that she's distributing child porn? that certainly seems to be bending the law to her distinct disadvantage.

[ April 21, 2004, 11:04 AM: Message edited by: Jim-Me ]
 
Posted by Chris Bridges (Member # 1138) on :
 
What I would argue for is a breakdown of the sex offender status, with different levels of penalty for different situations. Right now if she gets convicted she'll be labeled for life, with the same status as some old guy molesting kids, and I don't think that's right.
 
Posted by Chris Bridges (Member # 1138) on :
 
Children can also choose to enter into a legal contract if they want, and no one could argue that they didn't make the choice. But it's still not legally binding.
 
Posted by pooka (Member # 5003) on :
 
Am I the only one who sees a parallel to a kid who find their parents gun and inflicts harm on themselves with it? I think the parents should be held culpable. This probably sounds like an even worse nightmare, but it is possible to have computers in a public area where something like this would be noticed. I know to many of you who are young and need your "privacy" on line I must sound like a monster. But our computer is in a family area and I couldn't read this thread until my daughter left for school.

But I generally agree that the girl needs counseling at this point. Though any further strikes and minor or not, she should get a record. In a few years she will be old enough to work in daycare or whatever.

Keep in mind that a variety of sexual acts, whatever that means, was depicted before saying "I've done something not so different myself".
 
Posted by Xaposert (Member # 1612) on :
 
quote:
I guess the thing is about child porn is the prohibition isn't solely about the harm to the person being photographed - but rather the harm that is caused by normalising the sexualisation of children.
Banning kinds of free speech because it might promote the normalization of immoral behavior is not an acceptable justification for banning it. You might just as well ban people from saying racist stuff.

quote:
the whole reason this stuff is illegal is that minors are too young to make these choices with personal consent.

If that's the case, how can she, as a minor, possibly be competent to stand trial? If she's competent to stand trial, isn't she definitionally competent to make the choices?

This is what I'm talking about.

This case PROVES that minors CAN make these choices, because either she chose to do it to herself, or someone forced her to do it. But the only person that could have forced her to do it was herself. So, no matter how you look at it, she was the one who chose to do it, and hence she must have had that capacity.

[ April 21, 2004, 11:08 AM: Message edited by: Xaposert ]
 
Posted by lcarus (Member # 4395) on :
 
I pretty much agree with Chris on this one. I think it's absurd to charge the girl with anything, but I think adults who have the images and know they are of a child are fair game.

(POINT OF LAW: if anybody knows . . . if you have porn from a site that says all of their models are over eighteen, and it turns out that one or more are not, can you be charged with possession of child pornography? I think you probably can, since it doesn't let you off the hook in statutory rape cases. If so, is this right? Should you be able to be guilty of a felony without even knowing that you did it?)

Back to the point. Certainly it can be argued that if the adults knew she was a minor, they probably asked for or encouraged her to send/post the pictures, and there's the undue leverage that makes children legally unable to give consent.
 
Posted by imogen (Member # 5485) on :
 
quote:
You might just as well ban people from saying racist stuff.
See, I guess this is where we differ. We do. Australia doesn't have free speech like America has.

And I (from my ubiased perspective [Wink] ) like that.

[ April 21, 2004, 11:12 AM: Message edited by: imogen ]
 
Posted by Jim-Me (Member # 6426) on :
 
Absolutely should be going after these guys in the chat rooms...thanks, Ic, for pointing out the leverage they represent.
 
Posted by Xaposert (Member # 1612) on :
 
quote:
Certainly it can be argued that if the adults knew she was a minor, they probably asked for or encouraged her to send/post the pictures, and there's the undue leverage that makes children legally unable to give consent.
Are you arguing that somehow suggestions from a chatroom forced her to do this?

If I say something in a chatroom and some minor does something wrong as a result, are you saying I'm responsible for what he or she did, just because I made a suggestion in a chatroom? I think that's very unfair. I've heard plenty of casual, innocent suggestions in Hatrack Chat that could result in big trouble if we were to follow that sort of rule.

Regardless of what the law may say on the capacity of minors to decide to do things for themselves, I think it's clear that this act was in fact the girl's choice, and that trying to shift blame on and punish other people would be unfair to them.

quote:
See, I guess this is where we differ. We do. Australia doesn't have free speech like America has.
Uh-oh. Do you realize that that's ground for us to invade and bring "democracy" to you all? [Wink]

[ April 21, 2004, 11:38 AM: Message edited by: Xaposert ]
 
Posted by Chris Bridges (Member # 1138) on :
 
A four-year-old can choose to fire a gun, too. Doesn't mean it's an informed choice, or that the four-year old has any concept of the results or responsibilities from making that choice. I have to admit I'm not sure what you're arguing. Are the ages of consent arbitrary? Sure. Are they inconsistent? Definitely. Should they be changed? Up for dispute. But saying that because she can make a choice she should be immune to the penalities of that choice?

Put it this way. Possession of pictures of explicit underage nudity is illegal. Even if it can be argued that she can take such pictures of herself (and it can), she was breaking that law by distributing them. That's the part I think she should be charged with.

Should it be left alone, I predict a blooming business in minors who want spending money and a lot of happy pedophiles.

[ April 21, 2004, 11:40 AM: Message edited by: Chris Bridges ]
 
Posted by imogen (Member # 5485) on :
 
Chris, I agree completely. There is already a growing problem with 18+ year olds stripping and more (either online or at clubs) for money to go through high school / college.

Do we as a society really want to extend that 'option' (in quotation marks because even if it starts that way, it doesn't end that way) to younger kids?

[ April 21, 2004, 11:44 AM: Message edited by: imogen ]
 
Posted by lcarus (Member # 4395) on :
 
quote:
If I say something in a chatroom and some minor does something wrong as a result, are you saying I'm responsible for what he or she did, just because I made a suggestion in a chatroom? I think that's very unfair. I've heard plenty of casual, innocent suggestions in Hatrack Chat that could result in big trouble if we were to follow that sort of rule.
If she sent somebody a link, then they did a lot more than make a casual, tongue-in-cheek suggestion. If they followed up on it and downloaded the pictures, then they weren't being casual or tongue-in-cheek at all.

Let's get down to the dirty bottom. What about sex with minors? (I know we brushed against this topic once before. As I recall, you favored case-specific determination of the age of consent, rather than a specific number.) Is there any age, in your personal beliefs, that would intrinsically provide evidence to you that a minor was not capable of giving consent? A point where you say "I don't care how brilliant or mature she is . . . she's six, and there's no way sex with her is not rape"?
 
Posted by Xaposert (Member # 1612) on :
 
Yes, a four-year-old CAN choose to fire a gun, which is why the law should not deny this capacity as it does. It tries to claim a choice must be informed to be a choice, which is not the case (as this example among others illustrates).

The bottom line is this: If someone chooses to take pictures of themself, it is not sexual abuse. If this means the porn industry can profit from choices minors make for themselves, so be it. They have that right. It's not fair to the porn industry to pretend they are forcing things upon minors when the minors are actually making decisions. And thus it's not fair to the porn industry to accuse them of sexual abuse in cases where the people they are supposedly abusing are choosing to do it themselves. And most of all, it's not fair to minors to assume they can't make choices.

Protecting children is a good motivation, but it's not sufficient reason to ignore reality when making laws. The law shouldn't deny the fact that minors make choices any more than it should deny the laws of physics.

Now, in this case, an innocent girl might have her life screwed up because of an anomolie created by laws that deny reality. She can't legally choose to do what she did, but there's noone else around to pass the blame to, so we have to conclude that she forced it upon herself - that she abused herself. I think that's just outrageously unfair.
 
Posted by Hobbes (Member # 433) on :
 
Does anyone know if they're investigating her parents?

Hobbes [Smile]
 
Posted by Danzig (Member # 4704) on :
 
pooka, I think your idea is bad because of what might happen to innocent parents. I was actually a pretty good kid, but I got away with a lot of stuff and I could have gotten away with a lot more had I desired to. Parents cannot keep an eye on their children all the time, and by the time the children are in high school they should certainly not be expected to. Had I wanted to take pictures of myself at 15, it would not have been that hard. Save allowance and/or dip into savings for a digital camera (or otherwise obtain the use of one), go into my room, take pictures. Post on computer in basement, computer at school, computer at Internet cafe, etc. It would not have been my parents' fault had I done something like that. A 15 year old may be naive and inexperienced, but they are as smart as they will ever be.
 
Posted by Xaposert (Member # 1612) on :
 
quote:
Let's get down to the dirty bottom. What about sex with minors? (I know we brushed against this topic once before. As I recall, you favored case-specific determination of the age of consent, rather than a specific number.) Is there any age, in your personal beliefs, that would intrinsically provide evidence to you that a minor was not capable of giving consent? A point where you say "I don't care how brilliant or mature she is . . . she's six, and there's no way sex with her is not rape"?
No, I don't think there is any such age. As I said above, to do so would be to both deny the reality that choices are in fact being made, and violate the rights of minors (rights that the law often passes over lightly, I might add.)

I'd point to the example of two minors having sex without anyone else knowing. If neither of these have chosen to have sex, and nobody is there forcing them to have sex, how did it happen? I think it's clear that they must have chosen to do it themselves, and therefore it must be possible for minors to make such choices, and therefore that it is false to assume all sex with minors is forced upon them, and therefore that it is false to assume all sex with minors is rape (because rape is forced sex.)
 
Posted by Jim-Me (Member # 6426) on :
 
Chris, again, I just see a situation where charging *her* is specifically using her age against her when it's convenient to so they can get a conviction. they are emphatically NOT protecting the victim here... these are people out to hurt someone and using the laws of the state as an excuse to do it.

What the hell happened to "to PROTECT and to serve..."?

If she's adult enough to be charged with a crime, how can she not be adult enough to consent? and if she's adult enough to consent, then where is the crime?

The whole issue of child sexuality is "they aren't old enough to understand what they are doing." If that's the case, if a 15 yr old is incapable of understanding sexuality enough to give free consent to a sex act, how can a 15 yr old understand sexuality enough to commit a sex crime?

Can anyone explain this particular double standard? I don't like double-standards as a rule, but when the double standard is used to harass and label a minor for life as a sex offender I have a real problem with this because it was done to me.

Dammit people! I was sexually abused as a child and when I told my parents about it they spanked me with a belt and told me never to do such evil horrible things again. How is arresting this girl any different? If 15 is too young, if what she did is abusing a child, then the state is doing to her what my parents did to me, and I think that is horrific.

Someone prove me wrong, as I am obviously *way* personalizing this.
 
Posted by Chris Bridges (Member # 1138) on :
 
Xaposert, the problem I'm having here is that you seem to refuse to acknowledge the difference between a choice and an informed choice. As long as that remains the case, arguing the point seems useless.

It's also irrelevant to my last post. The choice that you're arguing so strenuously that she was capable of, as proved by the fact that she did it, was to commit an illegal act. Why shouldn't she be called to account for it? Please note that I called for counseling, not conviction.

[ April 21, 2004, 12:10 PM: Message edited by: Chris Bridges ]
 
Posted by lcarus (Member # 4395) on :
 
(((TAK)))

(((TAK)))
 
Posted by Jim-Me (Member # 6426) on :
 
By all means get her to a counselor, but I object to the charge...

and, well, the damage has been done. She's been arrested and humiliated. I can't imagine what this is doing to her self-worth. it feels horrible that all I can do is sit here in outrage...

edit: thanks, Joe. This is all very present for me because I'm dealing with it in therapy right now, for the first time. Wounds are a little raw from being re-opened, as if you couldn't tell.

apologies to everyone for losing it, a bit.

[ April 21, 2004, 12:19 PM: Message edited by: Jim-Me ]
 
Posted by Noemon (Member # 1115) on :
 
quote:
No, I don't think there is any such age. As I said above, to do so would be to both deny the reality that choices are in fact being made, and violate the rights of minors (rights that the law often passes over lightly, I might add.)
So, Tres, are you arguing that it would be possible for a pre-verbal child--say a 6 month old--to engage in consentual sex with an adult?
 
Posted by PSI Teleport (Member # 5545) on :
 
What's the deal? Break it down from this POV. She had child porn and distributed it.

Question one: Did she have child porn in her possession?

Point one: There were pornographic pictures of a child.

Point two: She had them.

So the answer to question one is YES.

Question two: Did she distribute it?

Point: She gave the pornographic pictures of a child to people.

So the answer to question two is YES.

YES she had child porn and YES she passed it around. I don't really see how it matters that the pictures were of HER. Is there any law involving child porn that says you can't have it or distribute it unless they are you?

Now, I would argue that she didn't abuse herself; I feel like that's kind of dumb. But I agree with the other two charges.

And if she's old enough to make the decision to take the pictures and distribute them (meaning, if she's tried as an adult) then she was old enough to learn about the laws involving it before she did something so stupid. But the question is, should she be tried as an adult? I'm not really sure.
 
Posted by Jim-Me (Member # 6426) on :
 
Psi,

answer my questions, then, please. If 15 is too young to consent to sex, then how can we charge a 15 yr old with a sex crime?
 
Posted by Scott R (Member # 567) on :
 
Distribution and possession of child pornography are not the same type of charges as statutory rape.
 
Posted by Dagonee (Member # 5818) on :
 
Too young to consent to sex does not equal too young to know that distributing certain photos is illegal.

Dagonee
 
Posted by Jim-Me (Member # 6426) on :
 
I'd also like to point out that we don't know, at this point, if the people she sent these pictures to represented themselves as adults wanting to know, or as potential suitors from across town. We don't know if they are adults or minors. We don't know if she represented herself as an adult or minor, either. All of those things would seem to have some bearing on the case, though I can't say exactly what yet...
 
Posted by PSI Teleport (Member # 5545) on :
 
I'm not sure, TAK. I was typing that when you posted. I'll have to think about whether age of consent for sex should be the same as the age of consent for everything else.
 
Posted by mr_porteiro_head (Member # 4644) on :
 
Jim-Me: While 15 is too young to consent to sex, it is not too young to rape.
 
Posted by Jim-Me (Member # 6426) on :
 
Scott,

I submit that they are *exactly* the same type of charge as statutory rape. I'll grant that there is a wider element to child pornography, but preventing the exploitation of the child in the picture is, and should be, the primary focus of the law.

Dag, I see what you are saying, but the law exists to protect the victims and they are completely sacrificing that in this case. There is a word for emphasizing the letter of the law over the spirit: "hypocrisy" (not trying to call you a hypocrite... sorry if it comes off that way... still very angry)
 
Posted by lcarus (Member # 4395) on :
 
I agree with porter on the age of consent thing, when it comes to victimizing somebody. But I think it's absurd to charge this girl with anything. What she did doesn't bare much resemblence to rape. And minors don't get charged with statutory rape when they sleep with other minors of the same age. That age difference leading to psychological power thing is not present. I don't think she can victimize herself, in the legal sense. She can possibly be charged on the distribution, but I simply don't think punishment is an appropriate way to deal with her at all. Nor do I think she should be labelled as a convicted sex offender. I think she should receive court-ordered counseling, though.

I think that in general, you and I agree on all points, Jim-Me, which in itself is interesting.
 
Posted by Xaposert (Member # 1612) on :
 
quote:
Xaposert, the problem I'm having here is that you seem to refuse to acknowledge the difference between a choice and an informed choice. As long as that remains the case, arguing the point seems useless.
I admit the different between the two. It's just that whether a choice is informed or not does not matter, at least in regards to the question of whether rape has occurred. It is not rape or sexual abuse to have sex with an adult who doesn't understand the consequences of sex is it?

quote:
The choice that you're arguing so strenuously that she was capable of, as proved by the fact that she did it, was to commit an illegal act. Why shouldn't she be called to account for it? Please note that I called for counseling, not conviction.
Because the reason the act was made illegal in the first place hinges on the assumption that minors can't make the choice she did. If they can make such a choice, then the act is not necessarily abuse, and should not be illegal.

Sure, she should be accounted for it because the law is the law, but the law should be changed for the future.

Also, why do you argue for counseling not conviction? If you really think she did the crime, shouldn't she suffer the penalties ascribed by the law for that crime?

quote:
So, Tres, are you arguing that it would be possible for a pre-verbal child--say a 6 month old--to engage in consentual sex with an adult?
Well, I'm not sure a pre-verbal, 6-month-old child is physically capable of consenting to anything.

Also, I might add that there is a difference between voluntarily choosing to do something (as this girl did) and being pressured into choosing something. I'd be doubtful of whether a very young child would want ever to do such a thing, without being pressured into it by the adult (similar to how a boss might pressure an employee into sex in a very subtle fashion - which would be abuse even if she agrees under the pressure).

[ April 21, 2004, 12:39 PM: Message edited by: Xaposert ]
 
Posted by Dagonee (Member # 5818) on :
 
Jim, the law is designed to protect all victims - I think the aggregate effect needs to be considered as well. That's why I think the porn charges are legitimate, not the abuse charges.

However, someone needs to investigate this girl's life pretty closely. I'd bet there's sexual abuse there somewhere.

Dagonee
 
Posted by Jim-Me (Member # 6426) on :
 
Porter, I'll give you 15 is old enough to rape... but that may just mean that 15 is old enough to understand consent...

and still leaves out the fact that there is a victim here who is being totally abandoned and punished.

[ April 21, 2004, 12:44 PM: Message edited by: Jim-Me ]
 
Posted by lcarus (Member # 4395) on :
 
Sadly, Dag, I would not take that as a given at all. I find that many, of not most, teenagers in mainstream American society today are sexually active, and this kind of sexual experimentation is quite typical.

(Not that it's sad if she was not molested, but that it's sad that this level of promiscuity or pretty normal for a fifteen year old . . . GAH!)
 
Posted by mr_porteiro_head (Member # 4644) on :
 
How do we know she is being abandoned? ANd yes, she is being punished, but so should anybody that sends kiddie porn to others. Is it not possible to punish for the crime *AND* help with the prolem?
 
Posted by Jim-Me (Member # 6426) on :
 
Though the odds appear to not be too bad for Dag's case... 1 in 3 women is what I keep hearing. Who knows if that's true (lies, damned lies, and statistics) but even if it's triple the real number, it's still staggering.
 
Posted by Noemon (Member # 1115) on :
 
quote:
Well, I'm not sure a pre-verbal, 6-month-old child is physically capable of consenting to anything.
So, then, your answer to Icarus's question
quote:
Is there any age, in your personal beliefs, that would intrinsically provide evidence to you that a minor was not capable of giving consent?
isn't

quote:
No, I don't think there is any such age
Do you consider being mentally capable of giving consent to be the same as being verbally able to give consent? If that same 6 month old were unusually advanced, and had the verbal skills of, say, a 2 year old, could they give consent to having sex with an adult?
 
Posted by Jim-Me (Member # 6426) on :
 
Arrest, man... arrest.

have you been arrested? I have. It was disturbing enough as an adult... strip searched... unable to even use the bathroom without someone watching me...

and that was for a 3 yr old parking ticket that I had simply forgotten-- no danger to anyone.

I'm sorry... maybe the police there have a really nice way of arresting people in special situations, but my guess is the officers went in there to get "a sex offender, charged with distributing child porn" and probably weren't very warm and fuzzy with her.
 
Posted by lcarus (Member # 4395) on :
 
Sometimes punishment makes problems worse. Punishment often puts offenders in contact with people who can teach them to be worse offenders, and it stigmatizes them as well. Now, in general, I would say that the risks of not punishing criminals outweigh the risks of puishing them. But I don't see this girl as a criminal. I don't believe that legal punishment will help her out. I think that's a recipe for losing a kid. Also, given that convicted sex offenders are saddled with a title that follows them for life, as well as the obligation to inform neighbors, employers, etc. of that title, the punishment here is way too harsh.
 
Posted by BannaOj (Member # 3206) on :
 
Since she is a minor I doubt she can be prosecuted the same way.

And I don't know that the "sex offender" label can actually be given to her as a felony that she will entirely carry around with her for the rest of her life. I know the rules for prosecuting minors as adults are very specific, though I don't know what those specifics are.

AJ
 
Posted by Xaposert (Member # 1612) on :
 
Noemon,

My answer to Icarus is "no" because there is nothing intrinsic about the age of 6 months (or any other age) that provides the evidence that the child can't choose. Heck, there is nothing intrinsic about being 1 day old that necessarily implies you can't be singing and dancing the Macarena, but that doesn't mean it's ever going to happen.

Yes, it is not impossible for a 6-month-old to know of sex, have the capacity to choose to do it, the desire to do so, and the communication skills to clearly express that choice. But many things are technically possible that we don't really have to worry about ever happening.
 
Posted by Noemon (Member # 1115) on :
 
Taking this out of the charged environment of a discussion about child sex, I think I'd have to disagree with you when you say
quote:
Heck, there is nothing intrinsic about being 1 day old that necessarily implies you can't be singing and dancing the Macarena
I'd say that there is a level of physical development necessary to have the strength and coordination to do either of these, wouldn't you? I'd argue that it's physically impossible for a 1 day old human to have either the strength or the coordination to do that.
 
Posted by pooka (Member # 5003) on :
 
Xap, from your logic can I assume that you are a pro-life-from-conception advocate?

There are so many assumptions being tossed around here. Mainly that she's just an innocent kid. The same people who say she's just a innocent kid also say she could consent.

I'm saddened that she was jailed. I proposed parental prosecution because I feel someone should be punished. Maybe a hefty fine might do something to help chill this behavior. And counseling.

I have in fact known someone who said she was a victim of sex abuse and convicted of prostitution. I feel she was to be pitied. But I was also really angered that she would go and apply for work at a day care center, and that she was hired. Now she may have just been a compulsive liar about the other stuff. But within a week she was theorizing that a child at the center had been abused. Now because this woman with whatever is going on with her is working there, some kid's dad may have been prosecuted, perhaps for no good reason.

The story has a happy ending, she lost her job because she kept sleeping in.
 
Posted by Jim-Me (Member # 6426) on :
 
why is that a happy ending, Pooka?

and, BTW, what evidence do you have that she was lying about any of it?

Sorry I keep editing this, but your statement "perhaps for no good reason" is bugging the bejesus out of me.

"Perhaps" would seem to indicate that "perhaps" there IS a good reason for the guy to be prosecuted, and, if so, isn't this woman a hero?

[ April 21, 2004, 01:39 PM: Message edited by: Jim-Me ]
 
Posted by Xaposert (Member # 1612) on :
 
quote:
I'd say that there is a level of physical development necessary to have the strength and coordination to do either of these, wouldn't you? I'd argue that it's physically impossible for a 1 day old human to have either the strength or the coordination to do that.
Yes, but the key word is intrinsic. It is not intrinsic in being 1 day old that you can't dance. A highly physically developed 1-day-old could conceivably be born by some twist of the normal rules of biology and she would be able to dance.

quote:
Xap, from your logic can I assume that you are a pro-life-from-conception advocate?
Do you mean anti-abortion? I believe abortions are bad but should be legal.
 
Posted by Telperion the Silver (Member # 6074) on :
 
What the heck? They charged her for abusing herself?? What a weird case...
 
Posted by Jim-Me (Member # 6426) on :
 
Let me rephrase, Pooka. I claim to be a victim of sex abuse and I have, in my checkered past, paid a prostitute for sexual favors, though I was not convicted of so doing.

So how do you feel about me having 4 kids and a 5th on the way?

Can you see the prejudice in your statements, now?

Maybe you aren't telling us everything you know, but on the surface, it sounds to me like you are treating this woman very unfairly.

Ok, this is getting way too personal and I'm gonna ruin this thread by injecting myself into it over and over again.

I'll be quiet, now. Please go on. I'm not bowing out because I don't think it's important, that's for sure.

[ April 21, 2004, 01:55 PM: Message edited by: Jim-Me ]
 
Posted by Telperion the Silver (Member # 6074) on :
 
Ok... I don't approve of child porn, aka: abusing children to make porn... but arresting someone for puting up their OWN pictures that they took THEMSELVES is, if not terribly wrong, then really strange...

I'm with pooka on this... I'm not happy that she was jailed. Puting her in therapy is a better idea.
 
Posted by lcarus (Member # 4395) on :
 
I definitely do NOT agree with charging the parents, unless some evidence of their wrongdoing is uncovered. Sometimes people don't realize that children and teens will occasionally do wrong regardless of the quality of their parenting. Sometimes it is because they don't have kids themselves. Sometimes it because they had kids who turned out to be angels. But when a kid is not an angel, it is not always a sign of bad parenting. Kids are individuals, and sometimes they will do what they will do. This is a pet peeve of mine, because I am the parent of special needs children, with behavioral issues, and I hate being judged to be an inferior parent because I have more to deal with than some parents do.
 
Posted by Altáriël of Dorthonion (Member # 6473) on :
 
Damn. What she did was wrong, but I guess its her parents fault for not watching what he daughter does, maybe not, but still, they've should know that their daughter was doing these things. I still thinks its wrong that the police arrested her, but I don't think they treated her that bad, after all, she is a minor. How can you commit a crime to your own self? keeps me wondering. Maybe the parents should've been charged instead.
 
Posted by lcarus (Member # 4395) on :
 
Yeah. They should keep a camera on her at all times so that they can watch--no wait, that's part of the problem.

Okay. She should have no door on her room, or maybe no access to technology without immediate supervision.

She is freaking 15!!! This is not her parents' fault!
 
Posted by Farmgirl (Member # 5567) on :
 
I agree it isn't the parents fault. Not that they couldn't have done SOME things to discourage the probability of it.

For instance, in our home, our main computer (hooked to internet) is in the CENTER of the house -- dining room, right next to front door/kitchen, on the path to Living Room. Most people would think that is inconvenient, but I put it there years ago so that at any time I was walking by I could glance at the screen to see what the kids were doing. Five us in the house. There is NO privacy in this room. So, obviously, it greatly discourages their "curiousity" about certain sites, etc. I don't have any blockers or filters, because someone is around.

The only time this didn't prove effective was when middle son had to stay home alone a short time while taking daughter to school. But I check history/cookies, and he got busted once, and was never given the opportunity again.

We discussed this article at work and can see how it makes sense to charge her (even though we don't necessarily agree that charging is the right reaction). Pornography, definition, is a certain thing. Child Pornography is the solicitation (distribution) of any pornography of someone under 16. So it IS child porn. She was NOT charged with deliquency of a minor, or any crime against the body of the person involved. Just charged with distribution of child porn.

Farmgirl

edit: typos

[ April 21, 2004, 03:49 PM: Message edited by: Farmgirl ]
 
Posted by pooka (Member # 5003) on :
 
Ic, there is a lot more to the story and I am no longer friends with this woman. I don't know if we ever really were friends. As you would extend this logic, if that's how I think of my friends, you would hate to be mine, right? She was a weird mix of victim and psychologically abusive to me. Anyway, I don't want to go further into this to the point of giving personally identifying situations. But I do know of one case where she presented false evidence to support her story that was her main excuse for hanging out with me.

By the way, I've had a couple of therapists/healers tell me I have signs of having been sexually abused. But I don't remember anything. Which really bugs me because I pride myself on having a detailed and intact memory. I figure if something comes back, fine. If nothing ever does, I guess the restoration of my memory in my hoped for afterlife may be weird. Just as a tangent, here, not to say I'm the sex abuse spokes child. I think these people saying I've repressed memories of sex abuse is really annoying. And now if I recovered any memories, why should I trust them?

P.S. Farmgirl- do you have linkage to a less vague article? The link article lists child sex abuse as a charge.

[ April 21, 2004, 02:36 PM: Message edited by: pooka ]
 
Posted by Farmgirl (Member # 5567) on :
 
Pooka, you are right.

I was reading this:
quote:
have charged a 15-year-old Latrobe girl with child pornography
I didn't really notice this:
quote:
She has been charged with sexual abuse of children, possession of child pornography and dissemination of child pornography
later in the article.

I can see the last two charges, but I agree the first one baffles me.

FG
 
Posted by Farmgirl (Member # 5567) on :
 
That's weird -- I'm trying to find a secondary confirmation of this news article (instead of only the one from the original link). When I use Google News to do a search, it finds another article with exactly the same title from the Register (UK) dated April 5th, but the article is no longer available..... so I can't see if it is referencing the same thing...

FG
 
Posted by Alexa (Member # 6285) on :
 
pooka,

quote:
And now if I recovered any memories, why should I trust them?
You shouldn't. Memories are too easy to implant or fabricate to believe something because someone suggested a memory to you.
 
Posted by Alexa (Member # 6285) on :
 
quote:
...performing a variety of sexual acts....She has been charged with sexual abuse of children
If this article is for real and she has been charged with sexual abuse "of children," then I have to conclude that part of the sexual acts she photographed involved other minors. If she only photographed herself, then it should read "charged with sexual abuse of a child . My guess is she got funky with someone who they can't identify.

I wish they either gave more info OR we could find another link to corroborate the story.
 
Posted by lcarus (Member # 4395) on :
 
quote:
Ic, there is a lot more to the story and I am no longer friends with this woman.
psst . . . I'm not Jim-Me . . . [Smile]
 
Posted by Altáriël of Dorthonion (Member # 6473) on :
 
When I said, keep and eye on her, I didn't mean put a surveyllence(?) camera on her 24/7. What i ment, was to have more supervision on her. I'm happy SOMEONE got my point on what I ment, because that's true, you should place a computer where parents will see what their child is looking at. There is, after all, so many things besides porn that parents wouldn't want their children to look at.
 
Posted by lcarus (Member # 4395) on :
 
So if you put a computer in your kid's room you're a bad parent?

I got what you meant. I just think you're wrong.

A kid doing something wrong is not intrinsically evidence of bad parenting.

[ April 21, 2004, 03:50 PM: Message edited by: lcarus ]
 
Posted by Farmgirl (Member # 5567) on :
 
My kids also have computers in their rooms. Those machine just don't happen to connect to the internet. They can play games, do schoolwork, etc on them. But only use internet on the one downstairs.

FG
 
Posted by BannaOj (Member # 3206) on :
 
I know someone here where I work, who is a wonderful person and works her rear off being the best mother she can. She is a single mother, I'm not sure what happened to the father. Her first son is currently going to a community college and planning on transferring to a 4 year college in the fall. Has his act together in other words.

The second son that has one more year of high school, just got in a conflict last night and had a police report filed about him. He snuck out around midnight via the basement window, because they don't have it nailed shut (it sound like nailing it shut will be happening today as well as the forfeiture of his cell phone)

I *know* this woman is a pretty decent mother. Not obviously lenient or obviously strict IMO. One son is doing just fine for himself. So even within a family it is impossible to generalize about the parents based on the children.

AJ
 
Posted by mr_porteiro_head (Member # 4644) on :
 
quote:
How can you commit a crime to your own self?
You can try to kill yourself, or you can take drugs.

Even if you don't think those *should* be crimes, they *are* crimes.
 
Posted by Farmgirl (Member # 5567) on :
 
I agree, AJ !!

My oldest son -- model child, great student, etc.

My second son... *slowly shakes head* -- I don't know. I can only pray.

But I raised them the same.

Farmgirl
 
Posted by Altáriël of Dorthonion (Member # 6473) on :
 
I guess it depends on their nature too. When I said that computers should be used with a parent's supervision I really ment internet. Sorry, its just that most computer's I'm around in have access to it, so I get reallly frustrated when a compy doesn't. Internet is my life...@.@
 
Posted by pooka (Member # 5003) on :
 
Maybe in that state, showing porn to kids is child abuse? So if the people she sent it to were adults, she was distributing porn but if they were minors, she was causing them to be sexually abused? I know this is a reach, but it's possible. I know in Utah, seeing one of your parents beat the other is child abuse. That way the children can be removed even if the beatee won't press charges.
 
Posted by Richard Berg (Member # 133) on :
 
I expected some friction from this crowd, but you guys are nuts.

She does not need counseling. At that age finding a place where you don't feel insecure about your strange new self sounds like heaven. In the real world, the queen bitch at the "popular" table makes snotty comments to her giggly followers when you walk by, and boys will say anything (usually false) for a chance in your pants. If you have the slightest worry that some part is too big or too small, fashion magazines will be happy to sell you the answer: yes. Depending on the Internet as your source of self-worth might indicate issues, but (a) there's no evidence of that (b) I was dependent on the Internet in the same way when I was 15, only with text, and I turned out ok. I call it growing up.

The viewers do not need punishment. If you think the Jason Biggs character in American Pie needed to be locked up for the webcam stunt, I don't think I can even discuss this intelligently. (If you do, chime in anyway, as I'm sure to be fascinated by your logic.)

So let's take the most egregious case: a significantly older person downloads images which he knows were not taken with full, adult, informed consent. What should happen? Dagonee was quick to dismiss my "anti-police canard" but I think an examination of the entire situation -- socially, structurally, legally -- is in order. Before we begin, I'll cut this post short and take a quick poll: do you support the War on Drugs?
 
Posted by luthe (Member # 1601) on :
 
Here is a second article on this event.
 
Posted by Richard Berg (Member # 133) on :
 
more linky since I see someone asked
 
Posted by PSI Teleport (Member # 5545) on :
 
quote:
But I raised them the same.
Couldn't that be the problem?

Not to be snarky, it's just that I'm already realizing that the things I use on my son do NOT work with my daughter.
 
Posted by BannaOj (Member # 3206) on :
 
PSI, I think she meant she tried to instil the same Values and Morals in each child, not that she treated them like a production line. Of course, each child is different, but the relative healthines or unhealthiness of the emotinal home environment remains basically the same.

AJ
 
Posted by Altáriël of Dorthonion (Member # 6473) on :
 
Oh yeah, everyone has their own nature.
 
Posted by PSI Teleport (Member # 5545) on :
 
I'm just saying that all kids react differently to the setup they're in. It's nearly impossible to create a different world for your different children in one home, so there's almost no way around it. But I think it explains, partly, how good parents can have some good kids and some...iffy ones. [Smile]
 
Posted by Altáriël of Dorthonion (Member # 6473) on :
 
Thats what I ment with nature. Just like Peter was a natural sadist, val was always naturally compassionate.
 
Posted by Glenn Arnold (Member # 3192) on :
 
This situation strikes me as being analogous to arresting a child for masturbating, since manual stimulation of a child is molestation.

The analogy to a child firing a gun doesn't hold any water, because all people have a sex drive, but there is no innate drive to fire a gun (although there may be an innate drive toward violence).

I know of a situation where a girl was molested from the time she was 7 until the time she was 20. She wasn't emotionally strong enough to tell her molester to stop until she reached that age. Did it stop being molestation when she turned 18, simply because she reached the age of "consent?"

I don't think there are any clear answers in this case, but I agree with Jim-Me that arresting this girl is innappropriate.
 
Posted by IdemosthenesI (Member # 862) on :
 
There are many acts that, when performed on someone else are a crime, but when performed on oneself are not. If I walk into my little brother's room and slash his arm up with a razor blade, they'd put me in prison. If I slash up my own arm, the court can't and won't do anything. The question of crime really centers for me on who the victim is. I can not be guilty of assault for damaging my own person. So I guess my problem is this: in the case of child pornography I'm fairly sure the victim is presumed to be the child pictured. Thus, while this girl's behaior is destructive, I don't understand how it is illegal.

I think there is another issue here that hasn't been addressed, and that is the first amendment implications. Pornography has been acceptd by the Supreme Court on many occasions as speech protected by the first amendment. The restriction as regards child pornography is justified with the philosophy that the production of the child porn necessarily implies another crime, namely molestation or lewd acts or some atrocity. So the pornography is banned not because of itself, but because of its horrendous method of pruduction. If I remember correctly there was a Supreme Court case the other year where CG child pornography was declared legal, i.e. if you can make it without commiting molestation you can create child porn to your perverted little heart's content. Wouldn't it follow that if the child is not coerced, her first amendment rights can not reasonably be limited, since she can clearly not molest herself. I think if the parents really wanted to they could take this one all the way up the justice system.

That being said, this girl seriously needs counseling.

[ April 23, 2004, 02:24 PM: Message edited by: IdemosthenesI ]
 


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