Fri, Mar 27th 2009 6:28am
Back in January, we got a tremendous response in the comments to a post about some teens in Pennsylvania who were facing the potential of child porn charges from an overzealous local prosecutor. Three girls had snapped nude and semi-nude pictures of themselves, and and faced charges of manufacturing, disseminating or possessing child pornography; the two boys they sent the photos faced possession raps. Now, the ACLU has sued the prosecutor on the girls' behalf, saying he shouldn't have threatened them with baseless charges -- which haven't yet been filed -- if they wouldn't agree to probation and a counseling program. The prosecutor says he was being "proactive" in offering them a choice, but the ACLU says he shouldn't be using "heavy artillery" to make the threats. As its attorney points out, teaching kids that this sort of behavior can bring all sorts of unwanted and unforeseen ramifications is a good idea, but threatening them with child-porn charges isn't the best way to do it. Of course, in neighboring New Jersey, it seems like prosecutors didn't just stick to threats of such charges: a 14-year-old girl has now been arrested for child porn possession and distribution for posting nude photos of herself on MySpace for her boyfriend to see. At least in that case, they say they won't charge friends who viewed the photos as well.
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