Yet another teenager has been arrested on felony charges of assaulting other teens’ eyes with a deadly weapon—nude pictures of herself.
This Ohio case is particularly smirky because the crime occurred immediately after a County prosecutor visited the kid’s high school, warning students about the prison sentences awaiting them if they receive or send sexual images of classmates on their cell phones. In classic teen fashion, the girl apparently took the warning as a dare. Or perhaps she was just really aroused by the law enforcement presentation.
The fifteen-year-old girl faced felony criminal charges for illegally using a minor (herself) in nudity-oriented material and for possession of criminal tools (to exploit herself). She could have been jailed for creating and distributing child pornography, and forced to register as a sex offender.
As part of a plea-bargain, Juvenile Judge Robert Hoover placed her on a curfew, banned any cell phone usage, eliminated unsupervised Internet usage, and imposed other conditions. In other words, she can do anything her 7-year-old brother can do.
There’s no word on what happened to the pathetic snitch who turned her in, but s/he reportedly has received internship offers from a number of groups such as Morality In Media and the Taliban.
Across the U.S., laws are sprouting in response to alleged concerns about teens’ safety and poor judgment. As a result, more teens are getting arrested; recent cases were reported in Castle Rock, CO; Westport, CT; Santa Fe, TX; La Crosse, WI; Syracuse, NY; and Ann Arbor, MI.
The laws that are creating a new class of criminal were originally designed to protect children from exploitation by adults. But predictably, they are now being used to punish teens for activity that grownups want to discourage: flaunting their sexuality.
And so in a Florida case, for example, Judge James Wolf speculated that “Amber” and “Jeremy” (a 16- and 17-year-old) could have sold their photos to child pornographers (no one claimed that they wanted to). He said the teens had neither the “foresight or maturity” to judge the risks of taking such photos (as opposed to, say, judging the risks of playing high school football or driving a car). Besides, fantasized the judge, “Mere production of these videos or pictures may also result in psychological trauma to the teenagers involved.”
Only if they’re busted, yer honor, only if they’re busted.