Musician/Comedian Faces 20 Years In Jail For Silly Video No Different Than Done On TV & In Movies
from the that's-not-right dept
Slashdot points us to yet another example of overzealous prosecutors going after someone with felony charges for a joke (perhaps done in poor taste). In this case, it involves 21-year-old musician/comedian Evan Emory, who performed childrens’ songs in front of some elementary school kids. Later that day, after everyone else had left, he also performed and recorded another song with sexually explicit lyrics. He then cut the footage of the two songs together, to make it look like he was singing the explicit song to the kids. This is, admittedly, in extremely poor taste — but as the Slashdot post notes, it’s no different than what has been regularly done on various TV shows and in movies. The Slashdot post has even more examples, but those three all seem to be pretty “mainstream” and well-known examples of this tactic.
Yet, when Emory did it, he was arrested, charged with a felony for “manufacturing child sexual abusive material” and now faces 20 years in prison. Emory appears to be deeply remorseful, and notes that he obviously never intended to harm any kids, and searches of his house and computer showed no evidence of any actual child porn. But it doesn’t seem to have stopped prosecutors from their plans to charge him with this felony. The prosecutor seems to be willfully ignoring the intent of the video:
“If you insinuate that you want to have sex with young children in Muskegon County and put that in the Internet, you’ve got a problem with the law,” Tague said.
“As prosecutor of Muskegon County, I feel I have a strong obligation to vigorously defend all the children in our county. To insinuate on a tape that you want to perform perverted acts on children is clearly within the scope of the law with which Mr. Emory is charged.”
Except, of course, Emory did not insinuate he wanted to have sex with those kids. It was a (crass and tasteless) joke video. I’m all for law enforcement prosecuting real child abusers to the fullest extent possible under the law. But going after folks like Emory here seems to make a mockery of the law, and take away efforts from stopping those who actually do want to do harm to children.