QUOTE(Mrs. Pigpen @ May 5 2004, 01:21 PM)
First: It is illegal to post child pornography on the internet. Likewise, it is illegal to download it. The laws against child pornography do not require the exploitation of the victim. If proof of exploitation were needed to prevent child porn, there would be a whole lot more of it online, and those laws would be meaningless because they would be almost impossible to enforce. Some fourteen year olds might legitimately enjoy being naked and posing with sex toys for the camera. Two teens might videotape themselves and display it online with each other's explicit permission. Obviously, the crime would be worse if an adult forced a fifteen year old to perform sex acts and sent the images online than if a fifteen year old took pictures of herself and did so. Isn't it up to the courts to determine the severity by examining the intent and nature, rather than law enforcement officials?
I agree that child pornography laws should not require proof of exploitation - that would open a whole new can of worms for dealing with the child pornography problem!
However, I'm having trouble understanding how proof of exploitation relates to the situation at hand. Could you expand on that one?
If you're saying that the police acted within their rights under the legal definition of distributing child pornography, I would agree with you there as well. The laws are broad and do not make distinctions for child victim/perpetrators, etc. However, it is also custom and practice for police to apply some discretion in interpreting whether or not the girl should have been arrested. In my opinion, this could have been handled in a less dramatic and more reasonable manner.
Child porn laws will only be respected if they are enforced. Enforcement requires some sort of penalty for breaking the law.
I agree, they must be enforced... I am just saying, lets enforce them against people for the reasons they were enacted. To fight pedophilia, child exploitation, etc.
Taking away the child's computer was the parent's responsibility before things became this out of control. It isn't the government's job, then, to expect the parents to instill disciplinary measures retroactively.
Well, we don't even know what the circumstances were before the arrest happened. Maybe the parents didn't even know. If they did, I would support action being taken - starting with the parents, as previously discussed. But not arresting and charging the girl with multiple felonies. My point is, the government has
ways to deal with this, short of criminal action against the child.
The girl in question did not take naked photos of other minors and try to make child pornography available to pedophiles on the internet. She took pictures of herself and shared them with people she met on chat channels, with the intention of flirting with them, not to start a home grown kiddie porn store. If she had been just a couple years older, it wouldn't have been a problem. I think we've lost perspective on that.
Second: It seems strange logic to me to allow a person to submit child porn without penalty, while holding those who viewed the material criminally accountable. To me this fails the reasonability test. Either make child porn legal to view and send, or punish those who view and send it. That doesn't mean a fifteen year old should receive the same penalty as the thirty year old pedaphillic sex pervert. It simply means that she should receive some penalty for breaking the law.
Hmmm... how would you distinguish this, then, from something like statutory rape laws?
The age of consent here in Illinois is 17. Let's say a sixteen year old girl meets an eighteen year old boy and the two decide to mutually and consenually engage in sex. In fact, lets make it worse by setting this up such that the girl initiated the activity and instigated it.
Somehow, they get caught, and confess. The boy admits he had sex with the girl, and the girl admits it was all her idea. The authorities prosecute the eighteen year old and the sixteen year old is referred to her parents for the appropriate action. The eighteen year old now has a criminal sex offender status on his record, while the girl is grounded by her parents.
How might one integrate that with the "reasonability test" you referred to?