Wednesday, July 09, 2014

Police Obtain Warrant to Take Pictures of Teenage Boy's Erect Penis

From AlterNet:

Police and prosecutors in the City of Manassas and Prince William County, Virginia have obtained a search warrant to photograph the erect penis of a teenage boy who is facing child pornography "sexting" charges. But attorneys for the 17-year-old boy — whose name is being withheld because he is underage — say that prosecutors are over-reaching their investigative authority. 

The teenager faces charges stemming from an alleged instance of receiving sexting pictures from his then 15-year-old girlfriend. Prosecutors say that they have video of the boy's erect penis that was sent to the girl's cell phone. If convicted, the boy could see prison time and be forced to register as a sex offender, according to the Washington Post. 

More here.

This sort of thing is horrible and needs to stop immediately--I mean, charging kids as child pornographers has got to stop; the warrant thing, also horrible, which seems a one-off, is so over-the-top that I doubt it's widespread, or so I hope. 

At any rate, on the one hand, sure, I get why this happens.  On the other hand, trying to stop teen sexting in this way is beyond absurd.  The technology exists. It is now amazingly and thoroughly widespread. Personally, I don't think it can be stopped, so we should try to play damage control as much as we can, try to make it a positive experience somehow, educate people how this sort of thing can come back to bite you in the ass, etc. But making criminals of kids who are simply doing what millions of adults do every day? That's sick, sick, sick.

As a friend commented when I posted this on facebook, "I remember being young and being able to fuck up without being charged with a felony."  Indeed.  In the last twenty years or so we've moved a very long way toward criminalizing youth itself. We have cops in the schools. We arrest children for ditching class or mouthing off. We treat all teenagers as suspects, well before a crime has even been committed. This, too, is sick, sick, sick.

Criminalizing teen sexting is just another manifestation of this overall trend.  Things are NOT looking up in the schools.