Open for discussion

This five-page article: Are child porn laws unfair? Viewers’ sentences can be worse than molesters’

I want to hear your views on this matter! Tell me in the comments section. Discuss this among yourselves for my entertainment.


Here’s another, related topic for discussion:

When I was thirteen or fourteen or so, my dad had just got a scanner, and one afternoon I was alone at home and I got a little silly and actually scanned my private parts just to see what it would look like. (The answer: absolutely nothing like a woman’s private parts.) I do not possess the jpg file anymore, but suppose I did? You could make a good case that such an image constituted child pornography. If I did still have the image, would it make sense for the state to prosecute me for possessing child pornography of myself?

I think this is an issue that will come up in court sooner or later. I can’t have been the first minor to take naughty pictures of herself. Suppose a man was arrested for possession of nude, sexually suggestive photographs of a boy (probably in his teens, but definitely underage). Should he get acquitted if he is able to prove that the images are of himself, taken by him in the mirror or something, long ago?

What do y’all think?


10 thoughts on “Open for discussion

  1. Princess Shantae March 25, 2012 / 5:28 pm

    I’m surprised it hasn’t come up a long time before now. I mean, boys scanning their butts on school copy machines has been going on since schools first started having copy machines, and some of those jokers didn’t even leave their underwear on. (Which should remind you to always wash your hands good after touching a copier.)
    I doubt that anybody who had the pic they took of themselves would ever find themselves in a position where they’d need to prove anything. If you hung onto your pic and ten years later you shared it with somebody, well, maybe they’d turn you in, but the chances are pretty good it seems to me, that anybody you might send a young-teen naked pic too is already just waiting to be arrested anyway.

    For your original question, it is a shame that the actual molesters might not get as much jail time as the viewer, but at the same time, the viewer is pretty darn lowdown himself and even more lowdown for letting somebody else do his dirty work for him.
    And I think the harsh sentences for viewing or sharing the stuff serve to reinforce the fact that just the kids are being victimized not just by the person who is actually molesting and filming them. Anytime anybody takes a look at the pic or the video, they’re hurting them all overb again.
    And probably like 90% of the viewers and collectors are molesters themselves too.

    • Meaghan March 25, 2012 / 5:30 pm

      The situation I was thinking of where the cops might find out you have child porn images of yourself, I think it would be most likely to happen if, say, the police were searching your house looking for something else, and found the images in a box in your closet or something.

  2. Princess Shantae March 25, 2012 / 6:43 pm

    I asked my dad about this, he’s a parole officer. He says he’s never heard of what youu described happening, and he says that if it did get discovered the way you suggest, if your story was halfway convincing, you’d probably get off with a good talking to.

  3. Jer March 25, 2012 / 9:48 pm

    Well, there’s already cases where underaged girls are charged with child pornography for taking naked pictures of themselves with their cell phones. So yeah, I can see an overzealous prosecutor going overboard if you still had that scan.

    • Diane March 26, 2012 / 4:20 pm

      But these girls aren’t simply taking these photos for s**ts and giggles and to see what those kinds of shots would look like, much like Meaghan did when she used the scanner in the way she did. They’re taking things way further by distributing them to various people, hence causing them to be in possession of child pornography and their own selves to be manufacturers of child porn.

      If this were simply a case of the girl taking a naked photo of herself using their cell phone and keeping it there, or having her cell phone snatched and the photo distributed then (which would be very easy to prove in terms of having it be clear that she didn’t distribute the photo), it wouldn’t (or shouldn’t) be a problem for the girl. It’s only when she passes it along to others that it does.

  4. amy March 26, 2012 / 12:57 am

    We are in a world now of people that don’t stop and think. Every prosecutor is over zealous. We have stopped taking things on a case by case basis because the world is so black and white now instead of thinking in shades of gray.

    I have a photo of me as a baby, laying naked on a rug. I can imagine someone finding that to be some sort of child pornography. People just don’t think anymore.

    • Meaghan March 26, 2012 / 1:10 pm

      I heard about a married couple getting into trouble over pictures of their toddler son playing in the sandbox. He wasn’t even naked: he was wearing his undies.

    • forthelost March 26, 2012 / 2:51 pm

      The laws usually say it can’t merely be nude pictures of a juvenile; they have to be taken for sexual purposes (even if the juvenile is clothed, it would count). Some creep online who finds photos of kids naked or in bathing suits taken by parents and jerks off to them technically doesn’t have child pornography. Unfortunately, very few people bother to check the “sexual purposes” part.

  5. Princess Shantae March 26, 2012 / 5:10 pm

    A couple years ago a guy got in trouble with the US military while he was in Afghanistan. His relatives sent him a bunch of pics of family, and some of the pics were his niece who was only about two or three, and in a couple of them she had on her bathing suit and the bottom had ridden up so most of her butt was showing. The Army thought it was crossing the line.
    I can see how an Afghan person might really be upset by that kind of pic but it wasn’t the Afghans who were complaining. I don’t remember how it turned out. I think they dropped the charges.
    Prosecutors need to use common sense, but so do ordinary people.

  6. Justin March 26, 2012 / 10:59 pm

    There is a made for TV movie titled Snap Decision with Mare Winningham which is based on what happened to a woman named Kathryn Myers in 1992. She was a well known photographer, whose life was turned upside down after she sent a roll of film to be processed at a grocery store in Akron Ohio and she did not immedietely return to pick it up. Kathryn was charged with taking sexually suggestive pictures of children. She was indicted for illegal use of a minor in “nudity-oriented material” due to pictures of her daughter Victoria, aged seven, and her playmate.

    You can find details of the film here:

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