Mattilda Bernstein Sycamore

Teenage sex criminals, oh my!

Filed By Mattilda Bernstein Sycamore | March 31, 2009 12:30 PM | comments

Filed in: Living, Living, Media, The Movement
Tags: American Apparel, child exploitation, George P. Skumanick, juvenile, pennsylvania, sex criminals, sex offender registry, sex predators, sexting, victoria's secret, Wyoming

Here you have it -- teens are being prosecuted under child pornography laws for distributing topless pictures of themselves!!!

This is particularly troubling:

[Wyoming County, Pennsylvania District Attorney] Skumanick told an assembly of students that possessing inappropriate images of minors could be prosecuted under state child porn laws. Anyone convicted under the laws faces a possible seven year sentence and a felony conviction on their record. Under a state sex offender law, they must also register as a sex offender for 10 years and have their name and photo posted on the state's sex offender website -- the latter requirement will include juvenile offenders when the law is amended later this year.

Did you read that? Students are warned that they could be prosecuted for possessing nude pictures of their friends (or even themselves)! Sex offender laws will be amended to include juvenile offenders!!!

Obviously, this illustrates the danger of child pornography laws (and sex offender registries) in the first place -- of course they're not used to empower children, but to prosecute them! And to legislate some backward vision of morality.

A commenter on the original post says it best: "We have to prosecute the children to protect the children... Think of the children!!"

The photos in this particular case sound slightly less lascivious than a Victoria's Secret ad, and certainly more tame than your average American Apparel faux-child porn. But one thing the article (and the ACLU) seem to be neglecting is that of course kids should have the right to send out photos of themselves -- partially clothed, nude, or dressed up and fucking -- to their friends, right? While the school administrators mention potential bullying and targeting in schools, the problem isn't the photos -- it's the way sex is stigmatized and criminalized.

Oh, will he ever live in a culture where teenagers are seen as independent sexual beings?

(Thanks to Bill Dobbs for forwarding the Wired post)

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I'm usually pretty "old fashioned" about these things, but this makes about as much sense as screen doors on a submarine.

A federal judge has blocked prosecutions for teen sexting. Here's a link:

Yay for sanity!

Thanks for letting us know that the whole world hasn't gone mad!

Thanks for posting, Mattilda.

These enforcements are so insane. You make a good point: "But one thing the article (and the ACLU) seem to be neglecting is that of course kids should have the right to send out photos of themselves -- partially clothed, nude, or dressed up and fucking -- to their friends, right?"

Exactly. And yet we seem determined that our children and youth are devoid of sexual instincts until... what, 35? Scary vision of the future.

At some point, *everyone* will be a registered sex offender, given how broadly these so-called laws are being expanded.

F*&king Puritanical creeps. Most likely these are the people who have sex with the same gender and then claim how immoral it is....hmm.

So then by that logic, if a teenager masturbates, is that considered sexual molestation of a minor?

This is why zero tolerance laws are a bad idea in general. There needs to be room for common sense.

Thanks for these great comments!

Greg, screen doors on a submarine -- that sounds like a job for Halliburton!

Jerame, thanks for the good news!

Yasmin, you are so right -- everyone will be a registered sex offender, and certainly it will be anyone considered "deviant" first...

Davyd, yes yes a good point indeed...

DCKate, I'm predicting that case soon -- but of course I give you the credit :)