As you may know, the Manassas City Police were issued a warrant to induce an erection (via some kind of injection, hopefully) in a seventeen-year-old boy so they could photograph his private part and thus prove that the picture he sent his fifteen-year-old girlfriend was really his.
Now the Washington Post reports that they are backing off, but this is not really that significant. It is true (and good as far as it goes) that the police have been shamed by the media attention they have received for their perverse plan.
But there are several things wrong here.
First, if the police can think that this is a good idea, and only turn back due to public shaming, how are the people of Manassas City, Virginia, to trust them again?
Secondly, the police were not acting alone. A sitting judge gave them the warrant to carry out this shameful deed. He is still on the bench. Also, almost certainly prosecutor was involved in the plan. How do you reassure yourself that these people are going to use their power for a just cause after this kind of report? As far as we know, the judge and the prosecutor still want the police to “serve the warrant” (ugh) but they are refusing to do so.
But most importantly, the teen is still being charged with two major child porn felonies which may keep him incarcerated until twenty-one and then keep him on a sexual predators’ database for the rest of his life.
This is, frankly, every bit as evil and disgusting as the “erection picture” plan. Until the prosecutor backs down, we should still be on red alert.
According to this website, it is legal for these two teens to have sex. So how can they criminalize passing on a self-exposed picture? The answer, of course, is the use of the child porn statute. A law designed to protect teens from getting exploited by pornographers is being used to destroy the life of a teen. They are claiming that his photographing himself constitutes the manufacture of child pornography so that they can prosecute him as if he had photographed some other kid.
Sexting is not child pornography and, even if there was an unwilling victim involved, the crime would be indecent exposure, not child porn!
This is an abuse of the law and a horrible miscarriage of justice. The residents of Manassas City need to get these perverted bozos out of power as soon as possible.
Manassas City residents, we, in the rest of the nation, wish you Godspeed.