July 3, 2013

"A 15-year-old Florida girl was arrested Monday afternoon for shooting and possessing a photo of another teen girl engaged in oral sex with a teen boy..."

"The two girls were friends, and one of them was dating the guy... They posed for the picture and remained friends for several months."
At one point, the girls had a falling out. The girl who took the photo started to show it to classmates and distribute it digitally, police said.

"More and more teenagers are sending pictures of themselves and each other in compromising poses," Officer Melanie Snow said. "We want children and parents to know that this is a felony. It's not just some silly thing that won't have a long-term effect on your life."
Are felony prosecutions targeting one foolish teenager the right way to send this message?

76 comments:

ironrailsironweights said...

Ridiculous. There should be no criminal charges.

Peter

betamax3000 said...

Dang. If they were Eighteen Years of Age I could Riff with This.

ricpic said...

I thought that, post Willie, oral sex doesn't make the grade as doing it.

X said...

government employees are generally stupid.

edutcher said...

Well, some people wanted change...

Big Mike said...

@ricpic, post Willie sex isn't sex, but it can still be pornography if it gives you a chance to arrest a 15 year old girl.

A good first step with today's young women is to drill into their heads that pixels are forever.

Kevin said...

But if teenagers can produce and distribute the product themselves without penalty it is a loophole that will be exploited. There is a market for it, and that market will get the product penalty free.

Paddy O said...

Are felony prosecutions targeting one foolish teenager the right way to send this message?

"We want children and parents to know that this is a felony."

Seems that felony prosecutions are a very apt way indeed to send the message that this is a felony.

betamax3000 said...

Re: "A good first step with today's young women is to drill into their heads that pixels are forever."

And Don't Have Pictures taken when your Head is Getting "Drilled".

"Or Drizzled, For That Matter.

YoungHegelian said...

So it's okay for a 15 year old to bleep a 15 year old, it's just not okay to take a memento photo of the event?

You know, that old time religion really does make more sense in the long run than folks give it credit.

Inga said...

It's overblown.

rhhardin said...

Officer Melanie Snow

007 Bond often ran into standoffish women named Frost or something.

Best 007 dialogue ever:

Woman: Am I going to have a problem with you, Mr Bond?

Bond: No, you're not my type.

Woman: Smart?

Bond: No, single.

Kevin said...

Though another thing to think about is that the standard attack on underage porn is that it is by definition involuntary and therefore exploitative. It was always assumed that the youngsters must have been seduced by some creepy old guy. Teenagers creating and distributing it themselves undercuts that rationale.

Mitchell the Bat said...

"[T]een girl engaged in oral sex with a teen boy..."

Upon reflection I now realize that that is very non-descriptive.

So if you assumed it was a picture of the girl on her knees with the guy's dick in her mouth, then you're a sexist.

Same as me.

alan markus said...

Are felony prosecutions targeting one foolish teenager the right way to send this message?

Yes indeed. Except all foolish teenagers should be targeted, not just one.

X said...

It was always assumed that the youngsters must have been seduced by some creepy old guy. Teenagers creating and distributing it themselves undercuts that rationale.

there's definitely a creepy old guy working for the government involved in this.

Matthew Sablan said...

If it had been a picture of the person sharing it, it might not warrant anything. But, since this was a picture of SOMEONE else, something needed to be done. Was this the right something? Dunno.

Mary Beth said...

"Possession of child pornography is [a crime] no matter what age they are," Lindsey said. "If she had taken a picture of herself in sexual conduct, she could be charged with child pornography.

Civil Sense said...

In the article, Detective Lindsey said, "Possession of child pornography is [a crime] no matter what age they are. If she had taken a picture of herself in sexual conduct, she could be charged with child pornography."

No, no, absolutely no. Obviously, we need some underage exceptions to the "child pornography" statutes just as we (mostly) have underage exceptions to statutory rape. There is a giant ethical and moral difference between youths possessing and taking these pictures and a 20, 40, or 60 year old person doing the same.

elkh1 said...

ironrailsironweights said...
"Ridiculous. There should be no criminal charges."

Why not?

If men are prosecuted for possessing and distributing the kind of pictures that the mean girl is distributing and possessing, why shouldn't she be prosecuted? Because she is mean and stupid? Because she is underage? Teenage killers are tried as adults, why not teenage child porn distributor?

Hammond X Gritzkofe said...

As long as the law is on the books it should be enforced uniformly and rigorously...

...as should *all* laws.

Until enough of us get sick enough of it to elect Legislators who maintain a compact and concise edifice of laws rather than Office Seekers whose response to every real or imagined problem is to toss on new laws.

Marshal said...

Matthew Sablan said...
If it had been a picture of the person sharing it, it might not warrant anything. But, since this was a picture of SOMEONE else, something needed to be done. Was this the right something? Dunno.


This seems like the obviously correct answer. It shouldn't be against the law for her or the people she sends it to view (as long as it's prduced voluntarily of course), but sharing it further should be penalized.

MadisonMan said...

there's definitely a creepy old guy working for the government involved in this.

And they're looking and looking and looking at the image just to make sure it's still there!

Another law passed for the children!!

SteveR said...

From a purely mathmatical perspective, there are too many variables in the equation. That may not rise the level of a crime but these up and comers (no pun intended) will soon be of voting age. With that type of brain power who knows who could be elected? Oh wait...

alan markus said...

if men are prosecuted for possessing and distributing the kind of pictures that the mean girl is distributing

It won't be very long and men will be accessing these kinds of pictures (if they already aren't, for all I know). Notice how Facebook has been taken over by the older crowd (like us)? Just a matter of time before these young kids are being "followed" on Instagram, Snapchat, Kik, and God knows what other social media sites seem to be popping up on a daily basis.

El Pollo Raylan said...

...but sharing it further should be penalized.

She'll be penalized for life if facial recognition technology ever gets perfected.

David said...

Foolish. Totally foolish. As are the kids. But teenagers are foolish by nature. Adults should do better.

Marshal said...

El Pollo Raylan said...
She'll be penalized for life if facial recognition technology ever gets perfected.


The girl was 14 when the picture was taken with a cell phone. She's probably unrecognizable now, but even if not she'll be unrecognizable by the time she's 20. She'll be embarassed for a while, then she'll write articles for Slate about how this proves the world is sexist.

Krumhorn said...

One advantage of charging the 15 yr old girl with a felony is that you get to frisk her.

-Krumhorn

Krumhorn said...

....oh, Ok. That was super sick....

ndspinelli said...

The ubiquity of cameras has dramatically changed our culture as much as anything in the past decade.

elkh1 said...

Marshal said...
"It shouldn't be against the law for her or the people she sends it to view (as long as it's prduced voluntarily of course), but sharing it further should be penalized."

How about the people she sends it to are adults? How many sharing further should she do before she be penalized? One more, five more? Immunity for teenage law breakers? Can't do the time, don't do the crime. Ignorance is no defense.

Michael said...

A kid is in the slammer for joking, obviously and clearly joking, about shooting up a school. This 15 year old is arrested. A kid in W. Va. was arrested for wearing an NRA t-shirt. For the love of God we have become a nation administered by morons, people who have no sense of proportion, no governor on their sanctimony, a tendency to focus their power on the weak as opposed to actual criminals. Out. Of. Control.

paul a'barge said...

google "Free Kate"

Marshal said...

elkh1 said...
Immunity for teenage law breakers? Can't do the time, don't do the crime. Ignorance is no defense.


I'm discussing what the law should be, arguing that it is in fact different is not relevant.

PatHMV said...

Consider whether an individual, even a child, may have a First Amendment right to take and distribute photographs of their own body, even naked. I don't believe the Court has ever considered such a case to this point.

If that were the rule, then the law would still be able to restrict further distribution by others (under the child porn exception recognized by the Supreme Court), but the individual child themselves would be protected.

This becomes more problematic where you have 2 children in the photo, and only 1 of them chooses to distribute it.

Larry J said...

MadisonMan said...

Another law passed for the children!!


Yeah, and that prosecutor who was pressing charges against the boy with the NRA t-shirt was trying to get a gag order for the boy's own good. Yeah. Right.

rhhardin said...

How high a price do you want to pay to maintain the children are innocent narrative, is the ultimate analysis of Guggenbuhl-Craig.

It used to be that they were just small adults starting around age 5.

n.n said...

There is only sex and violence, and taxation. Everything else is judgmental and requires a well defined sense of morality (i.e. faith-based perception).

Geoff Matthews said...

What good is a law if it doesn't inspire fear of punishment?
What fear can a law inspire if it is never enforced?

Of course they need to start somewhere. Once people know that they can suffer real consequences, more of them will stop engaging in the behavior.

alan markus said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
alan markus said...

google "Free Kate"

Or better yet, go over to The Other McCain and read back on his one-man crusade against the #FreeKate movement. (Girl arrested for playing stinkfinger in school bathroom with girl 44 months younger).

Why Do So Many FreeKate Fanatics Remind Me of A Jethro Tull Song?

If you enjoyed Meade's commenting tactics over at "The Isthmus", you must follow this. Tag should be "McCain is like Meade". Interesting when a site gets "infected" by logic, and there is a natural "immunity" to said logic.

Ignorance is Bliss said...

In order to make an informed decision on such an important issue, I would need to know exactly what was shown in the picture.

Anyone have a link?

Auntie Ann said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Dante said...

First, isn't it three reckless teenagers, the guy, the gal, and the gal taking the picture? This isn't the same as an NRA T-Shirt.

Child pornography crimes are serious, and ought to remain so. The 18 year old who posted this photo to twitter can be in a lot worse trouble than the 15 year old.

I say leave it up to judicial latitude to determine the appropriate sentence for the 15 year old. Now, how about the 18 year old who posted the photo to his twitter account?

What's reasonable for him? How much of the law are you willing to sacrifice because he was a stupid teen?

alan markus said...

In order to make an informed decision on such an important issue, I would need to know exactly what was shown in the picture.

Anyone have a link?


If you can't find a link to those pics, maybe soemday you can get lucky and see the ones mentioned in this case:

Nursing home workers charged with filming nude patients

Two female workers at a nursing home in Howard are facing criminal charges after being accused of filming nude or partially nude patients, the Green Bay Press-Gazette reports.

Michelle A. Bulger, 22, of Cecil, and Ashley J. Schaumberg, 20, of Pulaski, are charged with exhibiting a nude recording without consent and two counts of capturing a nude image without consent.

The women were employed at Brookview Meadows adult-care facility. The victims, ages 81 and 84, are residents at the facility.

GrandpaMark said...

If the picture was circulated via cell phone, I have no doubt it has been posted somewhere on the internet.
A 15 year old girl in Saratoga Ca.hung herself because of humiliation over a cell phone picture.
I advise all young people to remember "the internet is forever".

Susan Stewart Rich said...

Aren't these children the ones we should be protecting? Felon=victim?

Baron Zemo said...

Hey anything goes. Isn't that what you libs are always telling us?

Your kids are producing their own porno. And the cops and prosecutors want to stop it?

What are they some sort of religious freaks or something?

creeley23 said...

Some message should be sent. Charging a teenager with felony seems too much.

However, consider that something like half the amateur porn on the internet lacks the subject's consent. It's been surreptitiously shared, shared as revenge, or outright stolen.

Add in improvements in facial recognition and the difficulty of removing things from the web, and you've got a recipe for thousands of people having their x-rated indiscretions publicly available as photographs forever.

X said...

the problem with locking up juveniles is that the government employee perverts supervising them won't stop raping the shit out of them:

http://www.propublica.org/article/boys-in-custody-and-the-women-who-abuse-them

Synova said...

Is a prosecution for rape of a boy who thought she said yes and then she got embarrassed because someone took pictures a good way to "send the message" that having finger sex with a girl who is stone drunk is a felony?

Is prosecuting an 18 year old who had consensual sex with a 14 year old a good way to "send the message" that the term "jail bait" still applies?

Synova said...

"This seems like the obviously correct answer. It shouldn't be against the law for her or the people she sends it to view (as long as it's prduced voluntarily of course), but sharing it further should be penalized."

And that's different from a teenager with a web cam and a pay pal button how?

Gahrie said...

Is prosecuting an 18 year old who had consensual sex with a 14 year old a good way to "send the message" that the term "jail bait" still applies?


How else would we do it?

Gahrie said...

Is prosecuting an 18 year old who had consensual sex with a 14 year old a good way to "send the message" that the term "jail bait" still applies?


How else would we do it?

Marshal said...

Synova said...
"This seems like the obviously correct answer. It shouldn't be against the law for her or the people she sends it to view (as long as it's prduced voluntarily of course), but sharing it further should be penalized."

And that's different from a teenager with a web cam and a pay pal button how?


Economic transactions are routinely barred based on age.

Oso Negro said...

Eliminate all the age of consent nonsense! Let's go full Caligula!

Nomennovum said...

Ah, women and retribution! It's like men and boners.

But of course the picture-taker shouldn't suffer the consequences of her action. This goes without saying.

elkh1 said...

MadisonMan said...
"Another law passed for the children!!"

Should children do what she and her friends did and publicize it?

Don't forget, the judge has the discretion to decide the punishment.

That NRA t-shirt thing was a definite violation of the kid's free speech constitutional rights. The prosecutor, the police, the teacher, and the school principle should be fired or required to read and regurgitate the Constitution that they are supposed to uphold.

elkh1 said...

Gahrie said...
Is prosecuting an 18 year old who had consensual sex with a 14 year old a good way to "send the message" that the term "jail bait" still applies?

Yes, the age difference is 3. He/she should have done it with a 15 years old.

No age of consent. How about a 30 years old and a 10 years old? Six? Like Prophet Mohammad?

Nomennovum said...

But of course the picture-taker shouldn't suffer the consequences of her action. This goes without saying.

And it also goes without saying that the girl giving the hummer should suffer no consequences either. She was clealy sexually assaulted by the boy. Arrest him.

Greg said...

I'm going to support the prosecution. This is not an isolated incident -- indeed, it is a serious problem in our schools today, where there is trafficking in these images -- that then get out to adult pedophiles.

We had a student drop out last year when an ex-boyfriend posted naked pictures of her online after a break-up. He was a college freshman -- and is doing several years in the state prison system.

Do we want to stop kiddie porn? Then we need to prosecute those who distribute it.

Baron Zemo said...

So lets get this straight. You can have kiddie porn if you are an under age girl or Pete Townshend,

Is that the gist of it?

Baron Zemo said...

Pete got away with a caution like he was one of those soccer poofters.

Maybe they can just give this girl a yellow card.

An "I Am Curious Yellow" card so to speak.

Quaestor said...

Geoff Matthews wrote:
What good is a law if it doesn't inspire fear of punishment?
What fear can a law inspire if it is never enforced?


Geoff, please go to Washington and explain this to the Gang of Eight. You'll need to speak slowly and avoid polysyllables.

Quaestor said...

It's overblown.

Wit.

Advice: Stick to knock-knock jokes.

Bruce Hayden said...

Well, it is kiddie porn. Which means that if the convict her, she will likely be a registered sex offender, with all that entails, and if convicted of a felony, there goes her 2nd Amdt rights.

My (somewhat ungenerous) thoughts are that we need to convict more females of sex crimes in order to maybe make the penalties more realistic. Won't happen if it is just males. It is one thing when repeat child molesters or real rapists are adjudicated as sex offenders and registered as such. The point there is that their recidivism rate is quite high. But the same penalty is being applied to youthful indiscretions, or even he says/she says quasi-consensual sex. And esp. when the one making the charges is having remorse for what the other party had thought was consensual. Plus, at least some statutory rape involves "victims" who lied about their ages. Those are not the sorts of things that should get one registered for life as a sex offender.

mishu said...

The girl was 14 when the picture was taken with a cell phone. She's probably unrecognizable now, but even if not she'll be unrecognizable by the time she's 20. She'll be embarassed for a while, then she'll write articles for Slate about how this proves the world is sexist.

So her life is ruined?

Shawn Levasseur said...

This girl distributed photos of ANOTHER girl and boy engaged in oral sex. She had no permission to distribute.

This is not about the sex act. It's about the unauthorized distribution of the record of the sex act.

I would hope it would be illegal if all involved were adults.

If child porn laws are being used. The charges will likely carry far too much of a penalty, and put the offender on a Sexual Offender's list, irregardless of the actual nature of the crime.

Revenant said...

We want children and parents to know that this is a felony. It's not just some silly thing that won't have a long-term effect on your life.

The real message, of course, is "police are your enemy, not your friend".

Joe said...

"[T]een girl engaged in oral sex with a teen boy..."

Upon reflection I now realize that that is very non-descriptive.

So if you assumed it was a picture of the girl on her knees with the guy's dick in her mouth, then you're a sexist.

Same as me.


I'm also confused.

"More and more teenagers are sending pictures of themselves and each other in compromising poses," Officer Melanie Snow said. "We want children and parents to know that this is a felony. It's not just some silly thing that won't have a long-term effect on your life."

But the worse long term effect is the law flexing its muscle, not anything else. People are a lot more resilient than the nannies claim.

Harold said...

IF, IF the young lady who took the picture had kept it for herself as a memento and not showed others, no one would know she had it. Hence, no arrest, no prosecution would ever occur.

From just what I read here, she had a falling out- and shared the picture. Bad move. Crime on several levels. Not to mention betrayal. Which in case of friends or former friends, is horrible and perhaps sinful, but not a crime.

Now anyone she shared it with, if they didn't immediately delte it, is also guilty of the same crime- possession of child pornography. Seems to me that by not reporting it, they aided and abetted a felon.

Prosecute her. This one is a hard case, and is why jurors should be notified of their right to jury nullification. After presentation of all the facts, maybe they could say-"Nope." Or maybe they'll say guilty because she apparently is.

Certainly stupid. The ruel I taught my kids was and is- don't take pictures of anything you wouldn't want your grandmother to see, or allow anyone to take pictures of you that you wouldn't want her to see. So far, they've paid attention.

Synova said...

"My (somewhat ungenerous) thoughts are that we need to convict more females of sex crimes in order to maybe make the penalties more realistic. Won't happen if it is just males. It is one thing when repeat child molesters or real rapists are adjudicated as sex offenders and registered as such. The point there is that their recidivism rate is quite high. But the same penalty is being applied to youthful indiscretions, or even he says/she says quasi-consensual sex. And esp. when the one making the charges is having remorse for what the other party had thought was consensual. Plus, at least some statutory rape involves "victims" who lied about their ages. Those are not the sorts of things that should get one registered for life as a sex offender."

What Bruce says here.

I don't want to *legalize* statutory rape (free Kate!) because it really should be illegal and teenagers really should be entirely aware that 1) age matters and if you have sex before your partner is legal then you're in trouble, and 2) distributing photos of your naughty bits when you're a minor (or revenge posting pictures of someone else) is dealing kiddie porn and illegal and you're in trouble.

But putting these offenders on a lifetime sex offender list with the pedophile and rapist is not appropriate. People can recover from "yes, I made a mistake when I was 17" but they can't recover from being on a sex-offender list.

Also, I agree, it's inappropriate to lose someone their 2nd Amendment rights because they texted someone a picture of themselves or revenge posted a naked picture of someone else when they were a teenager.

But I think it would be a bad thing for society to normalize a state where we refuse to protect minors from exploitation because we've decided that 14 year olds are adults when it comes to the adult behavior most fraught with consequences (while holding them in legal non-adult status as long as age 26 otherwise.)

Tom said...

What does making this a felony do except ruin lives. The pic made life suck for a while. So the prosecuter, in order to fix the problem, is going destroy some girls life, label her a sex offender, and declare justice is served. I hope the jury acquits her.

RigelDog said...

To answer the question: No. Three felonies a day, baby, and we are all potential jailbait.

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