High School Kids Staring Down Child Porn Charges In Sexting Scandal

from the subtlety-needed dept

Even as we recently discussed yet another case of law enforcement getting involved in cases of teens sexting, a behavior that is likely more common than we prudish adults can even fathom, it seems that a group of teens in the Chicago suburbs just weren't getting the message. This isn't to say, of course, that sexting is a recommended behavior. Still, it's common enough that the existing laws and punishments in place are often more harmful than the behavior they're trying to curtail.

In this recent case, teens in a Gurnee, Illiniois highschool were passing around suggestive photos of a freshman girl. None of the accounts I've read to date have even hinted that this photo was not taken by the freshman girl herself. I say this not to demonize her behavior in any way, nor to recommend it, but only to set the facts up for when we discuss the potential punishments involved. The photo apparently spread as a result of three freshman boys passing it around. This was likely quite traumatizing for the young lady in question. She was likely mocked and/or bullied due to the photo. Those actions warrant severe action by the school and the parents of the children involved. The situation might even serve as an opportunity for the community to learn what might happen should a young person allow these photos to spread.

Instead, Johnny Law came in to clean up the O.K. Corral.

The Gurnee Police Department said three freshman boys at Warren Township High School were arrested and may face charges of distributing child pornography after they allegedly texted an explicit photo of a freshman girl, which ultimately spread throughout the school's O’Plaine campus. School officials said the investigation was handled exclusively by Gurnee Police and could not offer any information on the case because it is “an active investigation involving juveniles.”
So, what might have once been a family and school matter has transformed into a police situation. Three arrests, so far, have been made. The talk is of child pornography charges. Why is this such a big deal?
If the boys are charged and convicted in the incident, authorities say they may need to register as sex offenders. “It can affect you lifelong, it’ll follow you around,” [Cmdr. William] Meyer said.
Here's where we all have to take a big, deep breath and figure out if we're really going to allow our compassion for the young lady in this story cause us to permanently brand 3 young boys for life with the stigma of a sex offender's mark. Don't get me wrong, there can be punishment here. I have no problem with that. But we're way too intelligent a nation to simply throw up our hands and say, "The law's the law," without making even a minor effort to create some kind of subtlety where lessons can be learned without the torching of entire futures. Come on, 'Merica. You can do it.


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  • icon
    Ninja (profile), 14 Nov 2014 @ 2:43am

    I personally don't see any problem with sexting. Tbh I do it regularly with my girl and we are fully aware of the risks so we try to keep them as secure as possible (ie: encrypted devices, good password hygiene etc etc) but we know that shit may hit the fan and the pics may go into the wild (in our case via hacking). If it happens, well... Shit happens. We are adults, we are mature to deal with it and shrug it off.

    These teens are not prepared to the shitstorm of having their pics spread and the boys actually treat these pics as trophies and want to spread around at least to their closer friends. These closer friends will send to other friends and this will go on setting stage for the probable bullying against which the teen exposed cannot fight due to lack of maturity. That said, I don't condemn the practice itself. As I said above I do it, many people do it. It's natural, it's even healthy to take pictures and play around with them.

    So why instead of repressing it, condemning it and criminalizing it we don't start teaching our kids how to secure their gadgets and to learn to share with caution or to respect the one that shared his/her intimacy instead of spreading it? You know, raise awareness, share knowledge. Maybe we haven't reached that level of evolution yet.

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    • icon
      Ninja (profile), 14 Nov 2014 @ 2:45am

      Re:

      "against which the teen exposed cannot fight due to lack of maturity"

      And the social stigma we attached to sex related subjects*

      Thought I should complete that.

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    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 14 Nov 2014 @ 4:20am

      Re:

      Surely good hygiene is important whether you are sexting or not?

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    • identicon
      1truthmovement, 14 Nov 2014 @ 7:18am

      Re: I personally don't see any problem with sexting.

      Amen

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    • icon
      Tim Griffiths (profile), 17 Nov 2014 @ 2:11am

      Re:

      Why not? It's for the same reasons that people think that teaching kids abstinence instead of giving them an actual sexual education is a good idea - An attempt to enforce morality through ignorance.

      It's completely insane of course including the very nature of it's philosophy but what matters is how it has been shown, time and time again, to do nothing to promote the intended morals while actively harming the children.

      At this point it's just sickening, it honestly seems more designed to create adults who can be "saved" by the church that damned them but that's getting a bit ranty.

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  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 14 Nov 2014 @ 4:05am

    Good to know...

    ...that all the REAL crimes have been solved. Yep. Gurnee is blissfully free of murder, rape, arson, assault -- even all the old cold cases have been successfully solved. So now the police force has the spare time to bully children, destroy lives, and spend taxpayer money "solving" problems that could easily have been addressed without their involvement. Way to go, pigs.

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  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 14 Nov 2014 @ 4:07am

    I'm surprised that the girl who took pictures of herself is not also being charged with child pornography.

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    • icon
      Bergman (profile), 14 Nov 2014 @ 5:22am

      Re:

      This. There is no underage exemption to a charge of creating and distributing child pornography. In fact, the penalties for creating it far exceed the penalties for possessing it or transmitting it.

      The prosecutors may see her as a victim, but by the letter of the law, she's guiltier than those three boys.

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      • identicon
        alternatives(), 14 Nov 2014 @ 8:08am

        Re: Re:

        The prosecutors may see her as a victim, but by the letter of the law, she's guiltier than those three boys.

        And this is why there is a jury of their peers exists who could look at the law and decide there was no crime here via the Jury Nullification.

        She has a teachable moment for the whole nation. I'd bet there is a scholarship or 2 out there for someone who'd be willing to turn this around and say "yes, that's me - prove I took the picture Jonny Law - take me to court" and demand her name is cleared as far as the law is concerned. Lets see what lesson instead gets taught instead.

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        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 14 Nov 2014 @ 8:43am

          Re: Re: Re:

          The prosecutors may see her as a victim, but by the letter of the law, she's guiltier than those three boys.
          And this is why there is a jury of their peers exists who could look at the law and decide there was no crime here via the Jury Nullification.
          I think GP was pointing out the absurdity of invoking child pornography laws at all in this context, rather than advocating that she must be punished. The laws were intended to deal with cases where the child shown either (a) was clearly not competent to consent or (b) did not voluntarily consent (i.e. consented under duress, was photographed without consent, etc.). If she took the picture on her own, without legally recognized duress (physical threats, extortion, etc.), there is a reasonable argument to be made that she voluntarily consented to the creation (else she would not have taken it). Now, we can haggle over whether she was competent to consent to its creation, particularly if the image was subsequently used in a way that she disapproves of, but reasonably should have expected. That use could justify some form of punishment for some of the parties, but invoking child pornography laws is way over the top here.

          Jury Nullification is nice, but it happens too rarely, and is a last defense against prosecutors run wild. I would rather see the charges Nullified than see any of the four (the boys or the girl) face a guilty verdict on child pornography charges, but I would be happier still if the authorities involved had the sense not to bring this to a criminal trial in the first place.

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        • identicon
          Rekrul, 14 Nov 2014 @ 5:07pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          And this is why there is a jury of their peers exists who could look at the law and decide there was no crime here via the Jury Nullification.

          No judge or prosecutor today will allow jury nullification to happen. If any potential juror even hints that they won't blindly follow the judge's instructions to strictly apply the letter of the law, they won't get within a mile of any actual trial. If any juror on an active trial so much as hints at jury nullification, they will be booted so fast that their head will spin.

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          • identicon
            alternatives(), 18 Nov 2014 @ 4:36am

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            No judge or prosecutor today will allow jury nullification to happen.

            That is because one of the rules of the Bar is to forbid even mentioning it.

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      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 14 Nov 2014 @ 8:33am

        Re: Re:

        "The prosecutors may see her as a victim, but by the letter of the law, she's guiltier than those three boys."

        Exactly. A victim can very well also be a criminal. But, there are apparently different laws for boys than for girls. No wonder there are so many more men in prison than women.

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        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 14 Nov 2014 @ 1:23pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          A bit of a leap there.

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          • icon
            JP Jones (profile), 14 Nov 2014 @ 2:19pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            If by a bit you mean a little hop to the other side of the Grand Canyon.

            There are many more men in prison than women because more men commit incarcerable crimes than women, not because there's different laws being applied.

            The correct answer is that no crime occured. I have no idea when it became illegal to be naked under 18 (*cough* outside of Florida *cough*). This is something that could easily be handled by parents.

            Finally, if we apply some common sense, there is a huge moral difference between a picture of someone under 18 naked and a picture of the sexual exploitation of a child. It's like saying that a slap to the face is the same thing as beating someone into a coma. Sure, both are technically assault. But advocating for the same punishment for both is absolutely insane.

            Since when did little things like "context" and "criminal intent" become irrelevant to the law?

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    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 14 Nov 2014 @ 5:51am

      Re:

      It is not stated in any article I have been able to find the identity of the person who took the photos, so your statement that the girl took the photo requires either a citation to a credible source so stating or a clarification that you were making an unsubstantiated assumption.

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      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 14 Nov 2014 @ 8:00am

        Re: Re:

        Read the techdirt article, it looks clear that the girl herself took the photos.

        This isn't the first time of double standards for child pornography charges. I've read of a case where a girl sent pictures of her genitals to a boy, and the boy sent back a picture of his penis. Both of them sent pictures of their private parts, yet the police decided to only charge the boy.

        There was a lot of outrage at the story at reddit because as part of the 'evidence' gathering the prosecutors wanted to bring the boy to the hospital to give him medication to force the boy to get an erection so they could take a photograph of his penis and use 'image comparison' software to prove that it was a picture of his penis he sent the girl. And the boy was still at least a year or two underage when this happened.

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        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 14 Nov 2014 @ 11:55am

          Re: Re: Re:

          "This isn't the first time of double standards for child pornography charges."

          And plenty of other laws as well. In fact, most. Ever notice how many more men are in prison than women? And don't give me any bull it about being because "women are morally superior to men" either.

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          • icon
            tqk (profile), 14 Nov 2014 @ 2:19pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            Ever notice how many more men are in prison than women?

            Ever notice how many more men are on corporate boards of directors? I wonder if it has anything to do with testosterone. Women generally aren't as aggressive as men. They tend more toward finding consensus and peaceful means to get what they want. Ie., poison vs. bullets.

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        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 18 Nov 2014 @ 11:28am

          Re: Re: Re:

          it looks clear that the girl herself took the photos

          And yet it does not say that she did. There is no clear confirmation one way or the other.

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    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 14 Nov 2014 @ 7:03am

      Re:

      If they are going prosecute the boys for possessing child porn they had better prosecute the person who PRODUCED the child porn.

      I thought that was investigators holy grail of soap boxing "I caught this nasty pervert who was producing this immoral child porn! -- Re-elect Sheriff Dogooder"

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  • icon
    S. T. Stone (profile), 14 Nov 2014 @ 4:10am

    Here's a radical idea.

    Instead of turning teenagers into sex offenders and tossing them into a criminal justice system designed to make them repeat offenders (sexual or otherwise), we could try—and I know this sounds radical so stick with me—educating teenagers about sex, sexuality, relationships, and the social (and legal) repercussions thereof so that they're less likely to actually do the sorts of things that would get them tossed in jail.

    But no, clearly, slapping those three kids with sex offender labels for the rest of their lives (or a good chunk of their adult years, anyway) is a proper and healthy response to dumb teenagers being dumb teenagers.

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    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 14 Nov 2014 @ 5:33am

      Re:

      But then that would interfere with for-profit prisons. And the way trade agreements are going, they could sue for lost profits....

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    • icon
      victorvscn (profile), 14 Nov 2014 @ 6:25am

      Re:

      > educating teenagers about sex, sexuality, relationships, and the social (and legal) repercussions thereof so that they're less likely to actually do the sorts of things that would get them tossed in jail.

      WHAT? NO! THEN THEY'LL START DOING THINGS LIKE... SEXTING.

      Seriously, though. You know what else we could teach them about? Encryption.

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    • icon
      Uriel-238 (profile), 14 Nov 2014 @ 12:16pm

      Should sex education include something about relating?

      ...we could try—and I know this sounds radical so stick with me—educating teenagers about sex, sexuality, relationships

      This is actually the nexus of one of my bigger personal crusades. Having been educated in a California public high school in the '80s (mind you, this is when Cali public education was highly ranked in our nation) my sex education was limited to anatomic cross sections and instructions of how to use a condom. I was still given the common Calvanist rhetoric that women were alien species and that I wasn't supposed to know anything about them... or talk to one until I've attained fortune enough to support them and a brood.

      What wasn't covered: All these sudden desires I have to engage with girls is normal, even to the extent that it makes me confused, outraged, awkward and unable to focus on my academic subjects. It seems to this day, our entire societies still pretty much pretend that the overwhelming adolescent libido doesn't actually exist, and that teens who exhibit it are deviants... or even criminal.

      But back to the subject, sexting is perhaps one of the safest expressions of human sexuality we have. It's only because of social artifice that it is regarded as dangerous, or a crime or whatever. I suspect it will take when everyone is expected to have some teeny-bopper nude of them lost in the internet somewhere (the way everyone over thirty in the US is expected to have tried pot -- and inhaled* -- at least once in their lives).

      * Except me. I ate cake.

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      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 14 Nov 2014 @ 1:26pm

        Re: Should sex education include something about relating?

        I ate cake.

        Don't inhale. It'll wreck your lungs. I know.

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  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 14 Nov 2014 @ 4:12am

    Sorry, Tim, but you clearly haven't been paying attention to the Fascist States of America, where the government can steal people's hard-earned money through what were once nobly-intended laws; where people can be locked up for looking at someone funny; and where your every movement can be tracked without even a modicum of legality and courts just okay it blindly.

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  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 14 Nov 2014 @ 4:42am

    Shouldn't they be investigating who took the picture?

    If it was a full grown adult, then that would be one thing. However if it was just a bunch kids being kids, then this needs to be handled by the school and the parents and not a bunch of low IQ thugs with badges.

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  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 14 Nov 2014 @ 4:51am

    This looks like a job for...
    Overbearing Militarized Police State!

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  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 14 Nov 2014 @ 5:04am

    Children don't realize that their actions have repercussions. The students involved in this scandal should absolutely be charged with distributing child porn because their actions were malicious and deliberate.

    If these students aren't punished in this way, then they will never learn that their actions have consequences and they will never learn from their mistakes.

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    • identicon
      David, 14 Nov 2014 @ 5:16am

      Re:

      Where is the point in learning from your mistakes if the first mistake torches you for life?

      Regarding their job prospectives and way to integrate into society, the "sex offender status" they have for life and are forced to announce to everyone who may be "affected" is going to be as helpful as an eye ripped out or a hand hacked off.

      Disproportionate response rather encourages misbehavior. If you serve the time anyway, why not do the crime in the first place?

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    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 14 Nov 2014 @ 5:31am

      Re:

      Children don't realize that their actions have repercussions. The students involved in this scandal should absolutely be charged with distributing child porn because their actions were malicious and deliberate.

      What an oxymoronic pair of statements.
      You will do well as a badged thug, no consideration of anything but using the force available to you with the slightest excuse, and who care how many lives you wreck doing that.

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    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 14 Nov 2014 @ 5:46am

      Re:

      I hope that you are punished in exactly the same way for the three felonies a day that you commit.

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    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 14 Nov 2014 @ 5:56am

      Re:

      But if you punish them it will mean you are sending the message that actions have consequences. Is that really a message you want to be sending? After all, you may hurt their feelings...a no-no in a society that seems at times to elevate the needs for positive feelings about self-worth above societal responsibility.

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      • icon
        PaulT (profile), 14 Nov 2014 @ 6:05am

        Re: Re:

        Cut the crap. We're not talking about them not being punished. We're talking about them being punished by the school system and parents rather than felony sex offender charges.

        It's not about "feelings", it's about not utterly destroying 3 lives because teenagers acted like teenagers.

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    • icon
      PaulT (profile), 14 Nov 2014 @ 6:03am

      Re:

      "The students involved in this scandal should absolutely be charged with distributing child porn because their actions were malicious and deliberate."

      So are a lot of things kids do in school - and most kids have done at least one of those things. Are you honestly saying that every one of should face criminal prosecution for those actions? Or are you only saying it about this one handy witch-hunt subject?

      "If these students aren't punished in this way"

      Why "in this way". Why is criminal prosecution with irreversible and ongoing lifelong consequences, rather than education and punishment within the school, the only way you can imagine children being punished effectively?

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      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 14 Nov 2014 @ 6:25am

        Re: Re:

        "So are a lot of things kids do in school - and most kids have done at least one of those things."

        Indeed. If we arrested, prosecuted, convicted, and incarcerated every kid in America guilty of underage drinking, drug use, underage sex/sexting/whatever, graffiti, petty theft, reckless driving, etc., then we would need to find prison space for tens of millions.

        Meanwhile, actual real live rapists -- see "Notre Dame football team" -- largely escape the consequences. Maybe the Gurnee police, who clearly find themselves with some spare time, should occupy it looking into that.

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    • icon
      tqk (profile), 14 Nov 2014 @ 8:16am

      Re:

      When I first read through this, I was sure it was sarcasm, but assuming it's not ...
      If these students aren't punished in this way, then they will never learn that their actions have consequences and they will never learn from their mistakes.

      Do you see the common thread in there? Are we going to start sending kindergartners to detention when they don't get their ABCs right the first time? Do we really want to instill in children the idea that education equals brutality, retribution and mind control, on first offence?

      "Please dad, may I go work in the coal mine instead? I really, really, really, really, ... hate school!"

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    • identicon
      Zonker, 14 Nov 2014 @ 11:17am

      Re:

      These children are under the age of consent. If they are too young to consent to sex, how can they be old enough to consent to a sex crime? Again, how can a child be convicted of an act they are too young to be able to consent to by law?

      Next thing you know underage boys will be arrested for masturbating or playing doctor... oh wait, they already are (for playing doctor).

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    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 14 Nov 2014 @ 12:07pm

      Re:

      Children don't realize that their actions have repercussions.

      Right. It's partially why we call them CHILDREN.

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      • icon
        Mason Wheeler (profile), 14 Nov 2014 @ 12:24pm

        Re: Re:

        ...and the perpetrators (and the victim, for that matter) in this care were not children. Child psychologists tell us that by 7-8 years of age, children are indeed old enough to understand the abstract concepts of right and wrong and that their actions have repercussions. The people involved here were (apparently) all around twice that age and pubescent. That makes them no longer children in actual fact, if not in legal classification.

        Have you ever been to a bar mitzvah? Today, it's just a fancy birthday party, but originally it was a celebration with a very specific meaning: this is when a boy officially becomes a man, and from that point on he was both held to higher standards and given greater freedom in his life, as befits his adult status. And it's not just a Jewish thing, (or a boy thing, for that matter; they had a bat mitzvah for girls,) most ancient cultures had very similar customs.

        They understood a concept that popular culture today calls "with great power comes great responsibility." But today we've forgotten that that works both ways. As children grow and mature, we expect them to act like responsible adults long before giving them any of the power of adulthood that should accompany it.

        And then we wonder why teens are so screwed up! We ask why they have such a bad attitude. You would have a bad attitude if you were forced to wear shoes that were too small or clothing you've long since outgrown; how much more chafing is it to be forced into a psychological and social status that no longer fits you?

        Adolescence is the most common form of child abuse in America: only a very small percentage of kids are beaten or molested, but every last one is forced to remain a child well past their time. It's a ridiculous and harmful invention of the modern age, and we'd be well served by getting rid of it.

        No, these "kids" are old enough and mature enough to know exactly what they were doing, and that they were doing it maliciously and causing lasting harm. They fully deserve the ton of bricks that's about to come down on them.

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        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 14 Nov 2014 @ 12:46pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          Maliciously?

          To WHOM were their actions malicious?

          The girl (who apparently produced the picture), was malicious to herself? Is that who's feet you want to hold to the fire?

          Or just the boys?

          Or all of them? (Think about that before you answer...because that's a seriously loaded question).

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          • icon
            Mason Wheeler (profile), 14 Nov 2014 @ 2:05pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            The girl did something stupid, and she's already been punished enough by the natural consequences of her actions. She let something she did get out of control, and hopefully she'll learn from it.

            But the boys who distributed these pictures without her consent, why do you even ask whether or not their actions were malicious?

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            • identicon
              Anonymous Coward, 17 Nov 2014 @ 12:02pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              The girl did something stupid, and she's already been punished enough by the natural consequences of her actions. She let something she did get out of control, and hopefully she'll learn from it.

              Ahhh, I see - so you want to prosecute distribution more severely than production?

              Your argument just took a massive shit, IMHO.

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    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 14 Nov 2014 @ 1:30pm

      Re:

      Consequences are important and should be taught as just that -- consequences. If it's a bit divorced from inherent causation, all the better.

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  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 14 Nov 2014 @ 5:54am

    as with all punishments that are meted out by the USA, they have to go to the extremes of extremes. when it's the other way round, however, and a possible punishment is against the USA, it either ignores it, poo-poo it off or just fights it to the death! after all, who has the right to dictate to the USA and argue with anything it does??

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  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 14 Nov 2014 @ 6:08am

    Only in 'merica...

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 14 Nov 2014 @ 6:13am

    Sex-offender status was supposed to be for child rapists. Serial molesters. "Predators". People who you don't want near your kid, or ANY kid, in case they do they same thing they once did. But if someone is sharing a photo they didn't take, what is the purpose of putting them on such a list?

    I'm not sure this should amount to nothing, but putting teens on a sex offender list for life, for sharing pictures of another teen, is ridiculous.

    We don't put carjackers on a list. We don't even put murderers on a list. So why do it just for sex crimes? And why do it with zero discretion for the judge in cases where it's clearly ridiculous?

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    • icon
      Almost Anonymous (profile), 14 Nov 2014 @ 7:36am

      Re:

      We don't put carjackers on a list. We don't even put murderers on a list. So why do it just for sex crimes? And why do it with zero discretion for the judge in cases where it's clearly ridiculous?
      Agreed, "sex-offender status" is the new scarlet letter. It's complete bullshit.

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      • identicon
        brina, 14 Nov 2014 @ 10:27am

        Re: Re:

        Not bullshit, caught some Hispanic old dude trying to go to our yard and talk to my 6 year old niece I am raising. He thought I was gone but I was trimming a bush and was on the other side. He was up to no good, when he saw me he turned around within 1 sec and walked away 5 miles per hour.
        There are some crimes against humans that are not motivated by greed or profit but pure evil. Those targeting children/ the weakest should have a picture. Defend them??? Hell No!!
        Even inmates don't like them. Not all crimes are equal. The teens should be handled by the parents/school (if on school grounds) but if the law says its porn then perhaps a stern warning via a ticket, some community service/counseling and let it go.

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    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 14 Nov 2014 @ 8:42am

      Re:

      "We don't put carjackers on a list. We don't even put murderers on a list."


      Well then, maybe we should start. Maybe everyone convicted of a felony should be required to wear an armband with a big "F" (for Felon) on it so that the rest of us at least know to be cautious around them.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Mason Wheeler (profile), 14 Nov 2014 @ 12:09pm

      Re:

      putting teens on a sex offender list for life, for sharing pictures of another teen, is ridiculous.

      As in most things, context makes all the difference. Add in three all-important words, and it makes a world of difference. Would you tolerate this behavior from the same kids if they (and the victim) were twice as old? If not, then why let them get away with it as teens?

      "Putting teens on a sex offender list for life for sharing pictures of another teen without her consent is..."

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      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 14 Nov 2014 @ 12:42pm

        Re: Re:

        Would you tolerate this behavior from the same kids if they (and the victim) were twice as old?

        Its called porn. Giving a picture, recording or writings to another person is 'publishing', at which point you have lost full control over who will see it.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 14 Nov 2014 @ 12:50pm

        Re: Re:

        "Putting teens on a sex offender list for life for sharing pictures of another teen without her consent is..."

        ridiculous.

        Perhaps you should ask if the same should happen for a teen caught shoplifting. Context, as you're defining it, seems to suggest "yes" - are you ready to support them when you start ruining their lives at such a young age?

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      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 14 Nov 2014 @ 1:00pm

        Re: Re:

        Would you tolerate this behavior from the same kids if they (and the victim) were twice as old?

        Yes - absolutely. It would be perfectly legal. (Kinda stepped in your own shit with that sentence, no?)

        So that means we should let them get away with it and you're changing your position, right?

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • icon
          Mason Wheeler (profile), 14 Nov 2014 @ 2:31pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          Yes - absolutely. It would be perfectly legal.

          What novel legal theory are you inventing to support that idea?

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

          • identicon
            Anonymous Coward, 14 Nov 2014 @ 9:39pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            Novel legal theory? The AC was responding to your comment about the hypothetical case of the kids being twice as old. I'm pretty sure people in their late twenties are allowed to take and exchange nude photographs.

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  • icon
    musterion (profile), 14 Nov 2014 @ 7:43am

    Why don't we approach this like weapons in high school?

    (sarc)
    Perhaps we should not allow anyone under 18 to have an electronic device that can take or display pictures/videos. If any person in school has one of those they are booted.

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    • icon
      Uriel-238 (profile), 14 Nov 2014 @ 12:27pm

      Kids without phones...

      Would lead to parents with child porn of their own kids on their phones.

      It would still happen, and then parents would get in trouble for it.

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    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 14 Nov 2014 @ 1:34pm

      Re: Why don't we approach this like weapons in high school?

      Phones make children safer.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 14 Nov 2014 @ 1:35pm

        Re: Re: Why don't we approach this like weapons in high school?

        Don't be an idiot. The photo function has nothing to do with that.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 14 Nov 2014 @ 9:46pm

          Re: Re: Re: Why don't we approach this like weapons in high school?

          Wow, a compound case of "missing the point entirely."

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • icon
          Uriel-238 (profile), 14 Nov 2014 @ 10:54pm

          A camera makes kids safer

          Actually, it does on the same basis that a camera in the hands of every citizen makes us safer. Even in the hands of children. Especially in the hands of children.

          Law Enforcement Officers are not the only people who maliciously abuse their power when credible eyes aren't watching.

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  • identicon
    1truthmovement, 14 Nov 2014 @ 7:43am

    sexting

    Kids are going to be KIDS period that hasn't changed over time. What has changed is the technology thats all nothing more. The government has no business regulating morals thats the parents and the schools job. The problem exists with definition and the use of pre internet vernacular and nomenclature where the truth hinges on perception, Child Pornography(CP) has become pornography made by children as in (EXPERIMENTATION such as sexting- webcam or smart phone, mutual masturbation). Adult Pornography is pornography made by adults. Adults who have sex with children and record that abuse with images are called images of abuse and child sexual abuse crime scene evidence images(CACSE) crime scene evidence and should be called such. Giving CACSE power is called practicing voodoo. Journalist love to use the words child pornography for the SHOCK value they report nothing but what is told to them by law enforcement, because Journalist believe it or not are not allowed to look at the evidence. Also there is the existing palpable danger of the publics acutely erroneous understanding of the alleged problem. We need accurate information about the true dynamics of the alleged problem because the things that we hear and fear and the things that actually occur are two different issues and may not be the same at all. So we are FORCED to take the governments word for it and we all know the government doesn't lie !!!

    POINT OF INFORMATION;
    Has anybody ever wondered why there are so many child porn busts? Kitty Wolf of Cautionclick dot com say someone's house is being raided by Law Enforcement every hour of the day. So how can there be so many pedophiles and where have they been hiding all this time?

    Have you ever been convinced by a salesperson that you really want and need a product, done something too instinctively, or made choices that seemed entirely out of character, then you've had an idea planted in your mind. No one wants to cause harm to a child (right, left or in between) but that is how Law Enforcements child porn pull marketing works by them just saying what about, "the children" and everyone shuts up. It is well orchestrated and more importantly it works. Just mentioning Child pornography can whip the public into a frenzy as well as win political votes; now it has been combined with a computer bogeyman.

    Curiosity energizes and enables; Curiosity keeps people coming back whether there is a new piece of software or gadget because people know they might learn something new; thats our HUMAN nature. Coupled with Journalist that are unable to see the contraband and report ONLY the, "Gothic Melodramas" Law Enforcement spout at news gatherings after a bust develops curiosity. Law Enforcement has learned from the social sciences on how to cultivate that curiosity which make their, “Child Pornography pull marketing” work and that is what is accounting for all the child pornography arrests. The real child pornographers; the people actually hurting children go free because they know how to to acquire the material without getting caught. In essence Law Enforcement has only been arresting the low hanging fruit by arresting people using person to person (P2P) file sharing software. How do people know how to acquire child pornography? They just need to read and listen to the NEWS reports given to journalists by Law Enforcement which tell them child pornography is found using P2P software. That cultivates curiosity and that is why there are so many child pornography busts. The only children being allegedly rescued are the arrested children and no harm has ever been done to 99.9% of those children.

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  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 14 Nov 2014 @ 8:34am

    who are they harming, as far as we know she consented and even if she didn't they need to prove how the photo was obtained , I don't see a sexual offense here , I do see a possible $150,000 per copy IP fine.

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    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 14 Nov 2014 @ 8:56am

      Re:

      "as far as we know she consented"

      No, we know that she did not consent because underage people are legally not able to consent, even to themselves. So, when she took those photos she victimized herself and legally should be punished for doing so.

      These issues were considered at the time the laws were written and yet they were written as they were. If the legislators had not meant for this to be the law, they could have easily written the law differently. They didn't, thus showing that this is indeed what the legislators intended.

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      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 14 Nov 2014 @ 10:12am

        Re: Re:

        They didn't, thus showing that this is indeed what the legislators intended.

        And we should just leave the law in its ridiculous state and NOT change it, because nothing bad will come from having these children all have to register as sex offenders for the rest of their lives.

        They'll learn alright.
        What should be considered is what they're being taught.

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      • icon
        Uriel-238 (profile), 14 Nov 2014 @ 10:58pm

        Re: Re:

        No, we know that she did not consent because underage people are legally not able to consent.

        Not quite.

        If they had sex, they would have been protected from statutory prosecution by Romeo and Juliet laws. And Sexting is actually safer than physical intercourse.

        ...when she took those photos she victimized herself and legally should be punished for doing so.

        Really?

        In what kind of Bizarro morality were you raised?

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  • icon
    John85851 (profile), 14 Nov 2014 @ 9:02am

    Why have a sex registry?

    I know that's a radical concept, but follow me here...

    Suppose these boys (and, yes, they're boys) are convicted of "child pornagraphy". They get sentenced to a few years in jail and then have to register as sex offenders. Then they'll have to tell every neighbor in every community where they live for the rest of their lives that they're sex offenders. Will the neighbors ask if what these boys did or will they assume they're as bad as a child rapist, out to get their children also?

    Now compare this to other crimes:
    • A murderer is convicted, goes to jail for 25 years, and is released. He doesn't have to register in a murderer database and tell his neighbors that he was in jail for killing someone. The community lives in ignorance that he might kill again.
    • A drug dealer is convicted, goes to jail for 15 years, and is released. He also doesn't have to register in a drug dealer database and tell his neighbors about his past life. The community also lives in ignorance that he might start dealing drugs again.

    What ever happened to the idea of getting sentenced, serving your time, (maybe going on parole for a while), and then putting the past being you because you were punished? Why do we need to continue punishing people simply because we view sex crimes as worse than murder?

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    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 14 Nov 2014 @ 10:04am

      Re: Why have a sex registry?

      Because ... sex.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      David, 14 Nov 2014 @ 1:47pm

      Re: Why have a sex registry?

      Your forefathers, the Puritans, were thrown out from the Old Continent for their religious views and fervor. They butchered the inhabitants of the New World so that you could grow up casting the first stone.

      Do you want their sacrifices to have been for nothing?

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 14 Nov 2014 @ 10:17am

    Always protect the kids as they don't know any better. I am sure if your 14+ you know better.

    Don't tell me a 14+ does not know the difference between right and wrong. The police are not going to charge them but scare the crap out of them with the posibility of the charges. If you don't teach these kids a lesson now they will never learn, and the best way to teach them a lesson is to scare the crap out of them and their friends so they never do this kind of thing again.

    How would you feel if this was your daughter/neice having her picture spread around for young men to fap to?

    I am not saying put these young men in jail or make them have to register as sex offenders but we can use the police to scare the crap out of them, and that may be what is needed to make sure they never do this again, also it may even make them better people in the future.

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    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 14 Nov 2014 @ 10:52am

      Re:

      Teenagers explore their sexuality, its what teenage tears are for. While someone should have a talk to them about relationships and respect for other people, coming down on them like a ton of bricks will only convince them that they cannot talk to adults about sex.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      tqk (profile), 14 Nov 2014 @ 10:53am

      Re:

      How would you feel if this was your daughter/neice having her picture spread around for young men to fap to?

      Proud? Impressed? She's got multiple boys choking their chickens to the sight of her. Such admiration she's managed to wring (no pun intended) out of them. Lots of Playboy bunnies would be patting her on the back with a "Good job, girl!"

      A better question is why are you so offended by the thought? They're not raping or molesting her in any way. What's this got to do with you? Could it be you're just a garden variety prude?

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Pragmatic, 17 Nov 2014 @ 8:18am

        Re: Re:

        THAT is the entirety of the problem; they've reduced her to a sex object, she's not a PERSON to them at all.

        Exploring sexuality is normal for teens but we need to be warning our daughters that if they take intimate pictures of themselves and share them, there's no knowing where those pictures may end up, encryption or not. The minute someone shares that pic with someone else, no amount of encryption is going to stop it from being shared again.

        That said, this should have been dealt with in the community, not by the cops.

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        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 17 Nov 2014 @ 8:40am

          Re: Re: Re:

          THAT is the entirety of the problem; they've reduced her to a sex object, she's not a PERSON to them at all.

          That is not a one way street, as women use their sexuality to manipulate men, and get them to accede to their demands.

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        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 18 Nov 2014 @ 4:42am

          Re: Re: Re:

          they've reduced her to a sex object, she's not a PERSON to them at all.

          Is that documented someplace or is this your projection onto the situation?

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 14 Nov 2014 @ 11:18am

      Re:

      I am not saying put these young men in jail or make them have to register as sex offenders but we can use the police to scare the crap out of them
      There are no more Mayberrys. It isn't possible to use the massive (and expensive) bureaucracy of law enforcement to "put a scare" into some teens using felony charges. The system is too massive, and too full of potential liabilities, to be put into action without expecting it to come down full-force. The court system isn't just a glorified McGruff the Crime Dog school assembly.

      This is like teaching your neighbor not to play loud music by SWATTING him with an anonymous 911 call about his doing a high-volume (heh) meth deal with heavily armed anarcho-NAZIs.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 14 Nov 2014 @ 10:30am

    Back when I was a kid in primary school in the UK (ages 5-11), 8-10 year olds were playing "show me yours and I'll show you mine" behind the bike sheds (they also smoked cigarettes there). Given that so many tablets (the electronic type) are being hardened (toughened cases) and marketed specifically as suitable for kids, and many of them have cameras, how soon before 8 yr olds are being handed life-time sex-offender status just for finding out what the puritanical adults don't want to tell a curious kid.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      'Nuf Said, 14 Nov 2014 @ 10:38am

      Re:

      "Back when I was a kid in primary school in the UK (ages 5-11), 8-10 year olds were playing "show me yours and I'll show you mine" behind the bike sheds..."

      And they obviously knew it was wrong, which was why they were hiding behind the bike sheds.

      'Nuf Said

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      • identicon
        alan turing, 14 Nov 2014 @ 10:58am

        Re: Re:

        mandatory death sentences for all involved

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 14 Nov 2014 @ 11:06am

        Re: Re:

        More like they had picked up that sex and nudity were something to be ashamed of from their parents, and therefore took care to hide from the adults.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • icon
        tqk (profile), 14 Nov 2014 @ 11:16am

        Re: Re:

        And they obviously knew it was wrong, which was why they were hiding behind the bike sheds.

        Or, they wanted privacy and they knew teachers, like all adults, tend to be insufferable prudes. After months of asking for answers which were never provided, they decided to take matters into their own hands.

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        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 14 Nov 2014 @ 11:40am

          Re: Re: Re:

          "Or, they wanted privacy and they knew teachers, like all adults, tend to be insufferable prudes. After months of asking for answers which were never provided, they decided to take matters into their own hands."

          Spoken like a true pedophile.

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          • identicon
            Anonymous Coward, 14 Nov 2014 @ 1:37pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            Lol

            reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

          • icon
            tqk (profile), 14 Nov 2014 @ 2:09pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            Spoken like a true pedophile.

            How do you know what paedos think? Are you one?

            I suspect your kids go out of their way to hide everything they can from you as they've learned that you can't be trusted to even try to understand what they're going through. When they finally get to move out so they're no longer under your constant supervision, they're going to land in a world full of trouble that they don't understand because you spent years hiding them from the truth.

            I wish them luck, and I hope they find someone who can help them understand the world around them. You robbed them of that. You failed your duty as a parent.

            Kids are people too. They're just not adults. They should be treated with respect. They have a right to learn of and be warned about things they're eventually going to have to deal with on their own. Hiding the truth from your precious snowflakes isn't helping them one whit.

            reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Mason Wheeler (profile), 14 Nov 2014 @ 11:24am

    Here's where we all have to take a big, deep breath and figure out if we're really going to allow our compassion for the young lady in this story cause us to permanently brand 3 young boys for life with the stigma of a sex offender's mark. Don't get me wrong, there can be punishment here. I have no problem with that. But we're way too intelligent a nation to simply throw up our hands and say, "The law's the law," without making even a minor effort to create some kind of subtlety where lessons can be learned without the torching of entire futures.

    ...because the futures of the criminals in question are the only ones that would be affected by such an act. Right.

    As I've mentioned before on here, this is the sort of horrible "logic" that comes from a failure to think beyond a single degree of cause and effect.

    Since corporations are people too, my friend, let's draw a simple comparison to a scenario that everyone recognizes is highly problematic. EvilCorp, Inc. provides Internet access to millions of users across the nation. One day, it's discovered that they've been surreptitiously injecting spyware onto their users' computers, uploading their private data, and selling it to advertisers. They made $50 million off this illicit practice before security experts noticed and reported it to media and law enforcement.

    Don't get me wrong, there can be punishment here. I have no problem with that. But past experience tells us what happens next: the "punishment" may, at the very worst, involve an "enormous" fine of $2-3 million or so... and EvilCorp, Inc. laughs all the way to the bank with the rest of the $47 million they pocketed off of screwing their victims over. And then a few years later, when people stop paying attention, they modify the system slightly and do it all over again.

    You know what would keep that last part from happening, but never seems to actually get invoked? Fining them $100 million over illegal profits of $50 million. Sending executives to jail. Ruining the criminals' lives. Making it painfully clear that crime really, truly does not pay.

    Calling the criminals in this case "young boys" is exactly the sort of disingenuous, cynical appeal to "think of the children!" that Techdirt usually abhors, and it's quite disappointing to see it being trotted out here. It's also factually incorrect, as are comments about them not being mature enough to understand what's going on.

    Child psychologists tell us that children are mentally mature enough to understand the abstract concepts of "right and wrong" as young as ages 7-8. These are high school kids, somewhere around twice that age, and I respectfully submit that anyone here who does not believe high school kids are capable of fully conscious, mature, malicious cruelty must necessarily have fuzzy memories of their own time in high school.

    Blaming the victim is an ugly thing, but just as ugly is making excuses for a clearly malicious perpetrator. Kids who would commit an act of virtual rape like this are on a path that's going to take them to some very dark places later in life. Best for everyone involved (including the criminals, if it keeps them out of even worse trouble, but especially for the people who they don't end up victimizing) if this behavior is caught early and nipped in the bud.

    Remember, as the branch bends, so grows the bough.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 14 Nov 2014 @ 12:57pm

      Re:

      Best for everyone involved (including the criminals, if it keeps them out of even worse trouble, but especially for the people who they don't end up victimizing) if this behavior is caught early and nipped in the bud.

      Did you wait until you were 21 to take a drink?

      I'm guessing you didn't. Are you a hardened criminal as a result of NOT being placed on an "underage drinking registry" and not having gone through the criminal justice system?

      Perhaps in addition to your extensive child psychologist research, you can do some additional research on how well teens who are introduced to our fucked up criminal justice system tend to fare in life.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • icon
        Mason Wheeler (profile), 14 Nov 2014 @ 2:01pm

        Re: Re:

        I'm well past 21 and still haven't. I'm a computer programmer; my brain is my livelihood. Why in the world would I ever want to do something that will screw it up?

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      • icon
        Mason Wheeler (profile), 14 Nov 2014 @ 2:10pm

        Re: Re:

        To answer the other part of your response, perhaps my original post didn't make my position clear. I don't care about making life good for the boys who did this. By that age, their basic personality is essentially fully-formed already. If they're the sort of kids who will sexually victimize a vulnerable girl their own age at 16, there's a very, very good chance that they are going to grow into the sort of adults who will sexually victimize a vulnerable woman their own age at 20, 30, 40, or all of the above. The future victims are the ones I care about making life better for.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • icon
          Uriel-238 (profile), 14 Nov 2014 @ 3:59pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          I don't care about making life good for the boys who did this. By that age, their basic personality is essentially fully-formed already. If they're the sort of kids who will sexually victimize a vulnerable girl their own age at 16, there's a very, very good chance that they are going to grow into the sort of adults who will sexually victimize a vulnerable woman their own age at 20, 30, 40, or all of the above.

          Wow. You're one step away from suggesting these boys should be executed or imprisoned for life based on this incident. Fortunately, you're wrong. Humans take far greater risks as adolescents or young adults than they do in their thirties or forties, largely due to ignorance and our propensity for trial-and-error learning.

          But you are illustrating the sort of attitude that could lead to popular apathy toward zero-tolerance policies. Maybe when your own daughter's career is ruined due to such bureaucratic mechanations, you'll understand the problem with condoning collateral attrition.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 14 Nov 2014 @ 10:00pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          This is a really scary argument... but probably not for the reason you intended. Right up there with "if there were no god, we'd all be free to murder and abuse each other without remorse or repercussion."

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 17 Nov 2014 @ 12:09pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          Again - you seem to be more interested in punishing the distribution, rather than the production.

          Why are the boys so capable of being responsible, yet the girl "she's already been punished enough" (your words - a bit further up)?

          Care to continue to try and defend your point?

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 14 Nov 2014 @ 2:16pm

      Re:

      Trying to stop teenagers exploring sex is about as easy as stopping the tide from coming in, a futile exercise. Bringing high profile cases against them will just drive this activity underground, or behind the bike shed. Which is most likely to get out of control and lead to a pregnancy, sexting, or showing off to each other in privacy?

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • icon
        Mason Wheeler (profile), 14 Nov 2014 @ 2:53pm

        Re: Re:

        Trying to stop teenagers exploring sex is about as easy as stopping the tide from coming in, a futile exercise.

        A lot of people like to say that. Actual hard data tells a very different story. Perhaps the most telling is historical pregnancy rates:

        Pregnancy is the natural, though not infallible, consequence of having sex. That's a simple, non-controversial fact that everyone above a certain age understands. These days, we have ways to subvert that, with various forms of contraception easily available, but that wasn't always the case. Before the 1960s, when you had sex, you were rolling the dice, and if the (un)lucky number came up, that seed got planted.

        Contraception changed everything. Suddenly terms like "safe sex" started to enter the lexicon. It was now (perceived to be) possible to have sex with no risk of pregnancy. So we all know what happened next.

        Since everyone's doing it already and it's futile to stop teens from experimenting, having contraception available helped bring teen pregnancy rates way down.

        Oh, wait, no, that's not what happened at all. In a classic example of moral hazard behavior, teen pregnancy rates went way up and continued spiking all the way into the early 90s, when we finally started getting a handle on the situation. It took until the early 2010s to get teen pregnancy back down to 1950s rates.

        With no contraception available to hide the consequences of their actions, and yet a much lower pregnancy rate displaying the consequences that could not be hidden, there is only one conclusion that can be drawn: teens were having a lot less sex back then! So no, it's by no means futile; history tells us the exact opposite.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • icon
          tqk (profile), 14 Nov 2014 @ 3:54pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          With no contraception available to hide the consequences of their actions, and yet a much lower pregnancy rate displaying the consequences that could not be hidden, there is only one conclusion that can be drawn: teens were having a lot less sex back then!

          I take it you've never heard of condoms. You might look into the history of French Letters as well. They go back quite a ways. As well, I know guys today who practice coitus interruptus (Catholics are allowed to deceive themselves in believing that's not really "birth control" as the church defines it). The military handed out condoms to the boys in WWII, you know.

          No, I'm not going to believe they had less sex back then. They were probably a lot more careful considering the social stigma attached to unplanned pregnancies. If the girl did get knocked up, the decent thing to do was to marry her. Problem solved. Add to the above all the victims of backroom coat hanger abortions.

          Grow up.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • icon
          Uriel-238 (profile), 14 Nov 2014 @ 11:12pm

          Teenager sex rates.

          With no contraception available to hide the consequences of their actions, and yet a much lower pregnancy rate displaying the consequences that could not be hidden, there is only one conclusion that can be drawn: teens were having a lot less sex back then!

          Or it was managed more quietly. We didn't have the exacting electronic records and biometrics that we do today.

          In the 50s it was a lot easier to send a girl to her ruin by simply kicking her out of the family. We still had institutions specifically for housing wayward women who got pregnant out of wedlock and were turned into slave labor for the nunneries, or whoever would provide them a meal. The kids usually got sent to orphanages anyway, because better to have no mother than a fallen woman.

          A more clever device was to hide a girl for a couple of years while she had her baby, and then for the mother's mother to claim it was a late birth. That way the girl gets to return to a shadow of her former life. If the parents are disinclined to raise a new infant, there was always adoption (if it's a beautiful baby), the orphanages or abandonment.

          A friend of mine is noted in her family's bible as being ten years younger than she is, so that according to the familial record, she was born in wedlock. Because in US culture, keeping up appearances is far more important than the well being of your kin.

          Hint: The good old days were never good. Generally they were always far worse.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 15 Nov 2014 @ 6:32am

          Re: Re: Re:

          Exploring sex involves a lot more than sexual intercourse, as demonstrated by what happened here. As to teenagers having fully formed personalities, that is far from true, especially when it comes to dealing with strong emotions and desires involved in sex. The teenage years are when they develop an emotional maturity, and is replete with mistakes in dealing with other people, and especially the other sex. Also, in my experience at that age, the girls are far more aware of the power of their sexuality that the boys are, and often use it to wrap the boys round their fingers.
          As to the moral hazard, look at where the highest rates of teenage pregnancies are in the US, and also where the Bible belt is. There is a significant overlap between the two, which may have something to do with a prohibitionist attitude to dealing with sex.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      tqk (profile), 14 Nov 2014 @ 7:04pm

      Re:

      ... I respectfully submit that anyone here who does not believe high school kids are capable of fully conscious, mature, malicious cruelty must necessarily have fuzzy memories of their own time in high school.

      Certainly they are. Children are naturally uncivilized, greedy brats from the day they're born. We need to teach them how not to be. Some parents are better at that than others. Some kids are better at learning than others. It's complicated. Some of what they need to learn is quite complicated stuff, such as ethics and morality, things that most adults have trouble understanding no matter how long they try. Many just leave that up to religions that tell them what to do. "Don't ask why, just do it!"

      Expecting sixteen year olds to be fully ready to handle adulthood may've been reasonable when sky-fairy propaganda had them shaking in their boots for their eternal damnation, but that's not good enough two thousand years on. The Twenty-first Century is a complicated place. We all watch as TV and movies show us some of the worst behaviour possible, and its perpetrators are idolized. Our elected representatives lie and cheat and disappoint miserably, yet they're re-elected anyway. Public figures don't lie. They instead tell the least untruthful statement possible. James Comey says Apple's and Google's strong encryption are enabling terrorists and kiddie fiddlers, yet the FBI's own website recommends it.

      How's a sixteen year old supposed to make sense of all this confusion when so-called responsible adults are getting it all wrong in public, sometimes under oath in front of congressional committees?

      I've been telling people for years that they shouldn't let their kids go on-line unsupervised, but the allure of free babysitting is powerful. It's easier for them to just let go. I can't see the justification for kids to have cellphones in the first place, but I'm a voice crying in the wilderness, that weird old guy who apparently hates kids.

      That's how you end up with kids who don't know how to act when they should be able to. Blaming only the kids for our failure to prepare them for adulthood is unreasonable and unjust, at the very least. They were set up to fail.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • icon
        Uriel-238 (profile), 15 Nov 2014 @ 1:17am

        Neither the church nor the threat of Hellfire helped matters.

        Expecting sixteen year olds to be fully ready to handle adulthood may've been reasonable when sky-fairy propaganda had them shaking in their boots for their eternal damnation

        Many a devout parishioner was condemned by his belief, to his doom. A trick amongst thief-catchers in the old world (who were paid by the hanging) was to obtain a solemn oath from "hired" workers never to speak of their "employment", and then order the hapless workers to do something that looked an awful lot like a capital crime (e.g. counterfeiting coinage). The thief-catcher would then call in the Yard who would find the sods apparently minting slugs. Fearing for their immortal souls, the workers would provide no defense to keep them from the gallows. They'd get hanged and the thief-catcher would collect a hefty sum per execution. In 1815 one such scheme was only altered by the intervention of a priest who realized what was going on and was able to council the victims.

        In the meantime expecting sixteen-year-olds (or even twenty-one year olds) to be able to handle adulthood is a bit overreaching. They may be old enough to understand concepts such as right or wrong, but certainly have little experience in the way of action and consequences. If we're teaching them the way I was, that our society stands on the principles of liberty, equality and justice, then we're setting them all up for failure, and a harsh letdown.

        If we're going to cull these kids for something as trivial as sexting, I'd have it that we at least make a public todo about it. Let the entire generation know that this is what we do to sexters.

        Better yet, let's make sure that every child seven-years or older (and thus eligible for the Sex Offender Registry) is informed that these are the true colors of the society in which you live: fuck up once and we will eat you.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 14 Nov 2014 @ 4:43pm

    foster care

    Child Welfare doesn't mind putting unregistered child molesters into foster and adoptive homes, where they molest their siblings. When parents file for "wrongful adoption" they are forced to pay for "child support" for the un-registered sex offender, which they now can't keep in their home, or they will lose their other children, biological or otherwise.

    If they are going to make children register as sex offenders, let it begin with those foster children who are known molesters.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 17 Nov 2014 @ 9:02am

    The more you talk about terrorism, child porn, file-sharing, racism... the more attention it will get.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]


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