Friday, February 27, 2009

MA - 12-14-Year-Old Boys Face Child Porn Charges

View the article here

02/27/2009

This time it's in Massachusetts (CNN, 2/16/09). The last time it was Pennsylvania. This time a boy took a phone photo of his partially clad 13-year-old girlfriend and texted it to his friends. Now he and they are up on charges of distributing child pornography. If convicted, they'll be labeled sex offenders, possibly for the rest of their lives. In the Pennsylvania case a few weeks back, it was the girl who texted her photo to the boys, but they were still charged. What the girl's involvement was in the MA case, if any, is not clear. Did she cooperate in what her boyfriend did or not?

In a sane world, we'd know this for what it is - immature boys and girls being immature boys and girls. And we'd punish their behavior accordingly. Chances are we'd let their parents do it, depending on the circumstances. It's interesting that, at least in the video linked to above, it's the parents who understand that this should not be viewed as a criminal matter.

But nowadays, possession of a photograph of a naked or partially naked person under a certain age is deemed to be a serious crime, irrespective of the circumstances. Some people can't seem to tell the difference between adult perverts pimping children to other adult perverts, and children 'sexting' other children. The laws may have been passed to catch the former, but they end up catching a lot of the latter as well. The DA? Chances are he/she just wants another scalp. And if it has to come from a child, well, asi es la vida.

And another thing. Hasn't this all come about in part because of the Great Internet Sex Predator Scare? You remember the one that was designed to terrify police, parents, teachers, legislators, etc. into believing that online pervs lurked behind every PC and Mac.

Sure enough, a police captain in the Pennsylvania case informed us that sexting is "very dangerous. Once it's on a cell phone, that cell phone can be put on the Internet where everyone in the world can get access to that juvenile picture."

That's the same Great Scare that was investigated thoroughly and found, to far less fanfare, to be essentially non-existant. (I reported on that in the blog post "Why Did We Already Know This," 1/25/09) Yes, those photos could be posted to the Internet and that could be embarrassing for the person in the photo, but we now know that there's little danger.

And it looks suspiciously like the ones most in danger of having 'sex offender' slapped on their records are males. It's a lot like marijuana laws in that way. About equal numbers of men and women use pot, but men are far more likely to go to prison for it. And so it is when boys and girls send each other photos of themselves. They both do it, but my guess is that the ones who stand to lose their freedom, future jobs and career opportunities are mostly the males.


No comments :