Great Moments In Out-Of-Control Prudery

March 26th, 2009at 09:36pm Posted by Eli

This is completely nuts:

My friends at the ACLU of Pennsylvania have filed a Complaint (PDF):

Plaintiffs in this civil rights action are three teenage girls and their parents. The Defendant, Wyoming County District Attorney George Skumanick, has threatened to prosecute the three girls for child pornography for their roles in the creation of two digital photographs unless the parents agree to place the girls on probation and send them to a five-week, ten-hour re-education program wherein the girls must discuss why their conduct was wrong and what it means to be a girl. One photo shows Marissa and Grace, from the waist up, lying side by side in their bras, with one talking on a telephone and the other making a peace sign. The other photo shows Nancy Doe standing upright, just emerged from the shower, with a white towel wrapped tightly around her body just below the breasts. The two photographs, which depict no sexual activity or display of pubic area, are not illegal under Pennsylvania’s crimes code and, indeed, are images protected by the First Amendment.

Skumanick nevertheless persists in threatening to prosecute the girls because he has deemed the photos “provocative.” Since there is no basis to prosecute the girls for posing in photographs that plainly are not child pornography, in terms of content or production, Skumanick’s threat to prosecute the girls must be considered retaliation against the plaintiffs for asserting their constitutional rights – the parents’ right to direct their children’s upbringing and the girls’ rights both to free expression and against compelled speech – in refusing Skumanick’s demands. Accordingly, plaintiffs seek declaratory and injunctive relief to enjoin Skumanick from bringing the retaliatory criminal charges against plaintiffs based on their refusal to accede to his demand that they submit to probation and participate in the re-education program.

It appears that the only grounds for calling the photos “provocative” is Skumanick’s say-so:

One parent stood up during the meeting and asked how Skumanick could be prosecuting his daughter because, according to him, she was in the photograph wearing a bathing suit. Skumanick told the assembled crowd that she was posed “provocatively,” which made her subject to a child pornography charge.

In response to Skumanick’s comment, Marissa’s father stood up and asked who was deciding what was provocative. Skumanick replied that he was not going to argue and that he could charge all of the minors there that night but was instead offering them a plea deal. Skumanick also told Mr. Miller that, “these are the rules if you don’t like them, too bad.”

Awesome.  If I’m reading the description of the Nancy Doe photo correctly, I can see where that’s a little borderline, but calling a photo with zero nudity or sexual activity “child pornography”?  And using that to threaten 13-year-old girls with prosecution?  That’s insane.

This guy sounds like an unhinged misogynistic crusader who’s about two drinks away from screaming that teenage girls are dirty little whores who tempt the righteous into sin.

Entry Filed under: Republicans,Sexism,Wankers

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