Cop Who Obtained Warrant To Take Photo Of Teen's Erect Penis For Sexting Case Sues Teen's Lawyer For Defamation

from the STOP-CALLING-ME-CRAZY dept

One of the more remarkable intersections of law enforcement and sexting this year involved the Manassas City (VA) police department and a 17-year-old boy's erect penis.

Briefly: two teens -- a 15-year-old girl and a 17-year-old boy -- exchanged nude photos. Apparently, the boy went further, sending a nude video to the 15-year-old. The parents of the girl brought this to the police, who then sought to charge the 17-year-old with "possession of child pornography and manufacturing child pornography," mainly because the law remains mostly "a ass" when it comes to teens sexting.

In order to secure proof that the penis in the offending video actually belonged to the teen being charged, police obtained a search warrant to manufacture child pornography chemically induce an erection and take a photo of the suspect's erect penis. This bizarre action was prompted by the teen's refusal to plead guilty. And was taken despite the fact that police already had taken photos of his non-erect penis during his post-arrest detainment at the juvenile jail.

This strange tactic was criticized publicly by the teen's lawyer, Jessica Foster, in an interview with the Washington Post, in which she specifically complained about Detective David Abbott:

Foster said Detective Abbott told her that after obtaining photos of the teen’s erect penis he would ‘use special software to compare pictures of this penis to this penis. Who does this? It’s just crazy.'
This, of course, was only one of hundreds of similar reactions, most of which also arrived at the same conclusion: inducing an erection in a teen suspect and taking pictures of it is "crazy." But only one person is being sued (so far) for expressing their opinion of Det. Abbott and his warrant.
The lead detective in a high-profile teen “sexting” case from last summer, in which Prince William County authorities sought to take sexually explicit photos of a 17-year-old teen to compare with the evidence, has filed a defamation lawsuit against the teen’s attorney for making critical comments about the investigation in The Washington Post. [...]

Abbott’s lawsuit claims that Foster’s comment “materially misstates Abbott’s discussions with Foster,” and that claiming such an investigative approach was “crazy” in turn “asserts unfitness to perform the duties of his office or employment, with a direct intention to bring Abbott under scrutiny from the media and from the public.”
Abbott's lawsuit is at least as ridiculous as the police activity that inadvertently prompted it. Foster's lawyers have already filed a response pointing out that the statement is not defamatory and is "constitutionally protected opinion and rhetorical hyperbole."

Even Abbott's own department isn't interested in backing this lawsuit.
Manassas City Police Chief Douglas Keen said Abbott filed the suit independently and did not consult him, and Keen said he had no position on the civil case.
The department, however, still backs the decision to create child porn in order to charge someone else with child porn creation and distribution. A close look at its statement indicates that there's a bit of post-debacle blame-shifting going on, leaving the attorney's office holding the "teen penis photo" bag.
In the sexting case that has recently garnered so much attention, the investigating detective with the Manassas City Police Department was instructed by a member of the Commonwealth’s Attorneys’ Office to obtain a search warrant in order to photograph, for evidentiary purposes, the genitalia of the defendant. Upon consultation with the identification expert, the prosecutor subsequently authorized a second search warrant seeking a photograph of the erect penis of the defendant...

Many have expressed concern at what they believe to be an extreme measure in this type of case. However, when a criminal defendant, adult or juvenile, decides to exercise his or her right to a trial, it is necessary for the prosecution to explore all legal avenues of evidence collection in order to prepare for trial…
What Abbott seems to object to most (beyond being called "crazy") is Foster's insinuation that this erect penis photography session was all his idea.
"This statement implies that Abbott conceived of the idea, that he desired to obtain the photographs, that he would take actual photographs, and that he would personally execute the comparison.”
Abbott may resent this implication, but as Scott Greenfield points out, the detective did nothing to head off this regrettable warrant application, no matter who actually ordered it.
Just following orders, eh? The old Nuremberg defense. Yeah, that’s persuasive. Of course, it was Abbott’s name on the warrant, and at no time did Abbott say or do anything to suggest he wasn’t all-in on the dick pics. Indeed, until news of this outrage went public, there was always the possibility he could get a medal for his bravery and a photo of his own in the local papers for “hero cop convicts saves society from sexting teen by erect penis comparison.” So proud…

Detective Abbott, if you don’t want the world to think you’re some sick, disgusting pervert, don’t be one.
Finally, the lawsuit notes that Abbott has suffered immensely since the story blew up back in July, listing all of the following:
“intense media and public scrutiny, embarrassment, shame…injury to his reputation as a law enforcement official…hundreds of emails that included pornographic or threatening material…telephone calls threatening death or other actions...” [...] “severe emotional distress…which resulted in counseling with a psychologist and the need for medication.”
Well, I can only imagine what a second wave of coverage centering on Abbott's involvement with the production of photos of teen's erect penis is going to do to him. The media had long since moved on from this story, but Abbott's decision to pursue a shaky defamation suit has just reset the clock.

Filed Under: child porn, crazy, david abbott, defamation, erect penis, jessica foster, manasssas city, subpoena, virgnia


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  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 14 Nov 2014 @ 11:33am

    "Finally, the lawsuit notes that Abbott has suffered immensely since the story blew up back in July, listing all of the following:
    “intense media and public scrutiny, embarrassment, shame…injury to his reputation as a law enforcement official…hundreds of emails that included pornographic or threatening material…telephone calls threatening death or other actions...” [...] “severe emotional distress…which resulted in counseling with a psychologist and the need for medication.”"

    umm and how did he think it would make the teenager feel?

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

    • icon
      Geno0wl (profile), 14 Nov 2014 @ 11:39am

      Re:

      You think some cop cares about how the criminal scum feels?
      What are you some hippie?

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 14 Nov 2014 @ 12:05pm

      Re:

      "umm and how did he think it would make the teenager feel?"

      Hey, it's perfectly ok to victimize children by forcing them to produce child pornography, just as long as you're doing it in the name of fighting child pornography!

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

  • identicon
    Michael, 14 Nov 2014 @ 11:38am

    "Briefly"?

    I think briefs would have prevented the entire situation.

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 14 Nov 2014 @ 12:05pm

      Re:

      "I think briefs would have prevented the entire situation."

      Maybe if they were super-glued on. Backwards.

      Nah. Ain't no glue that strong.

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 14 Nov 2014 @ 11:41am

    claiming such an investigative approach was “crazy” in turn “asserts unfitness to perform the duties of his office or employment, with a direct intention to bring Abbott under scrutiny from the media and from the public.”
    Yes, yes it does. When public officials use their office in a manner that is arguably or clearly against the public interest, calling them "crazy" and directing media scrutiny upon them is one of the quickest and safest ways to dissuade them. If he doesn't want to be called crazy, maybe he should avoid acting in a way that is so obviously contrary to the public interest.

    hundreds of emails that included pornographic ... material
    Maybe it's particularly disturbing material, but my first thought on reading that was that he should appreciate that he no longer needs spend even the slightest bit of effort to find porn. After all, where before he had to secure a warrant to justify producing it, now people are sending it to him for free!

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

  • identicon
    Michael, 14 Nov 2014 @ 11:45am

    asserts unfitness to perform the duties of his office or employment

    Why would you think that someone saying that a police officer inducing an erection in a teenage boy and taking a picture of it is crazy would lead people to think you were unfit to be a police officer?

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

  • identicon
    Michael, 14 Nov 2014 @ 11:48am

    A dick takes teenage dick pic, the media calls him a dick, and he loses his job and becomes a private dick.

    Someone will be calling him for movie rights.

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

  • identicon
    Anon, 14 Nov 2014 @ 11:49am

    Officer lacks skills and bravery required to go after truly "hardened" criminals. Pun "fully" intended!

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 14 Nov 2014 @ 11:53am

    I am so tempted to send him a picture of my erect penis with banana for scale.

    I just want to provide evidence that I am not the subject in the photo, just in case someone suspects I am.

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 14 Nov 2014 @ 12:02pm

    There's a simple way to get the public outrage and blow back against him to go away. Get them to drop the ridiculous child pornography charges against the poor kid, and stop wasting public resources and tax payer money filing ridiculous cases like this.

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 14 Nov 2014 @ 12:03pm

    were any of you people commenting ever young and randy ?

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 14 Nov 2014 @ 12:03pm

    "…which resulted in counseling with a psychologist and the need for medication.”

    Perhaps he should have done this before asking for the picture.

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

  • icon
    ChurchHatesTucker (profile), 14 Nov 2014 @ 12:07pm

    This needs to be said

    Detective David Abbott was all-in on the the forced erection of a 17 year old's penis.

    It's a hard job, but someone has to do it. And that man is Detective David Abbott.

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

  • identicon
    Applesauce, 14 Nov 2014 @ 12:15pm

    Stupid is as stupid does.

    "The media had long since moved on from this story, but Abbott's decision to pursue a shaky defamation suit has just reset the clock."

    Stupid as well as crazy.

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 14 Nov 2014 @ 12:21pm

    OCD much?

    The dick seems to have a serious obsession with teen dicks.

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

  • icon
    Ed (profile), 14 Nov 2014 @ 12:23pm

    Delicious Streisand Effect karma heaped upon this asshole Abbott. Yes, yes, let the hate consume you, Abbott.

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

  • icon
    velox (profile), 14 Nov 2014 @ 12:31pm

    What about the Judge?

    It's a given that the detective and the district attorney may be unfit for their jobs given such behaviour, but where is the judge's name and conduct in this discussion?
    Doesn't the willingness to sign such a warrant call into question one's fitness to be a judge? Isn't the reason we call them judge is because they are expected to be able to exercise good judgement?

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

    • identicon
      kaf, 15 Nov 2014 @ 2:35pm

      Re: What about the Judge?

      Exactly!

      If they elect their judges in Virginia, I'm thinking his opponent has a ready-made attack ad right here.

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

  • identicon
    Rich Kulawiec, 14 Nov 2014 @ 12:34pm

    Say...this gives me an idea!

    "Foster said Detective Abbott told her that after obtaining photos of the teen’s erect penis he would ‘use special software to compare pictures of this penis to this penis."

    Hey folks, I need venture capital for my new startup. We're gonna make Penis Recognition Software. Facial recognition? Piffle. Meh. THIS is the next big thing.

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

  • icon
    thatbloodyreverend (profile), 14 Nov 2014 @ 12:35pm

    hundreds of emails that included pornographic ... material

    I applaud those citizens who were obviously concerned that Abbott didn't have enough penis photos to which he could compare the suspect penis.

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 14 Nov 2014 @ 12:37pm

    Can we contribute to the kid's legal defense fund?

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

  • identicon
    ThatGuy, 14 Nov 2014 @ 12:52pm

    Of course, my first thought is back to the judge that signed off on this warrant. If the judicial system is supposed to be the safeguard against crazy detectives like this one, why is there no indignation against the judge that rubber stamped this on through?

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 14 Nov 2014 @ 1:08pm

      Re:

      why is there no indignation against the judge that rubber stamped this ...?

      Judges who rubberstamp warrants are not exactly news.

      See, for example, the public reaction —or rather, public non-reaction— to Orin Kerr's post back on November 6th, “Magistrate issues arrest warrants for 17 years but is new to ‘probable cause’ .” The story had no legs. People were not really shocked.

      Q. And during your 17 years of swearing in criminal complaints with requests for arrest warrants, did you know what probable cause was?
      A. No.
      Q. Had you ever made a probable cause determination?
      A. No.
      * * *
      Q. Did any of [your] training include making a probable cause determination?
      A. No, it did not.

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

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

    According to the referenced WaPo article, Det. Abbot took exception to the following paragraph:
    “[Defense Attorney] Foster said Detective Abbott told her that after obtaining photos of the teen’s erect penis he would ‘use special software to compare pictures of this penis to this penis. Who does this? It’s just crazy.’”
    However:
    Foster’s lawyers responded by filing an e-mail Wednesday that Abbott sent to Foster on June 14. Abbott wrote that the teen “preferred us take pictures of his genitals to compare and prove that it is in fact his penis in the movie…The comparison process is quite extensive and I have reached out to Homeland Security where I am a TFO and they have agreed to assist — however I only want to go this route if you think there will be a trial.”
    So. The detective claims the process of comparing two penises is "quite extensive". The detective further claims to have asked for the assistance of a federal agency in this penis scheme, and that they agreed.

    And he's concerned that she only called him 'crazy'?

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

    • identicon
      David, 14 Nov 2014 @ 1:33pm

      Re:

      And the threat: " however I only want to go this route if you think there will be a trial" Yes, if you make this hard for me, I'm going to really make it hard for your client.

      And I just realized what I typed there...

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

    • icon
      thatbloodyreverend (profile), 14 Nov 2014 @ 2:39pm

      Re:

      I wonder if Homeland Security has a specific unit tasked with penis-comparison duties nationwide, or if it's just divided up among their regional offices.

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 14 Nov 2014 @ 2:28pm

    I for one am glad I no longer own a cell phone. God forbid some teen girl or boy sent such pictures to the wrong number, that number being mine. Seems like a two way street here as both parties sent pictures, so if not legal was at least consentual. To be young and foolish again, sure glad we didn't have this technology when I was a teenager. As a parent of either teen I would have had a frank and earnest conversation with the other teens patents, to get the police involved at that stage was not warranted.

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 14 Nov 2014 @ 6:07pm

    You mean to tell me cops are faggot pedophiles? Oh yeah we already knew that

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

  • icon
    M. Alan Thomas II (profile), 15 Nov 2014 @ 1:24am

    Asserting that someone is unfit for public office and public scrutiny of government officials is so perfectly protected by the First Amendment that the biggest delay in dismissing the case is going to be waiting for the judge to stop laughing.

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 15 Nov 2014 @ 11:57am

      Re:

      Unless it's the same judge that signed the warrant so the detective could produce and sweatily pore over child pornography, I would assume...

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 15 Nov 2014 @ 3:06am

    Advice

    I have a minor friction burn from using too little lube recently. Should I send him a picture of it for advice since he's such a cock expert?

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

  • icon
    got_runs? (profile), 15 Nov 2014 @ 5:20am

    Top Cock Cop.

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

  • identicon
    Christian, 15 Nov 2014 @ 6:17am

    Why only the teenage boy

    Is no one going to mention that it's ridiculous that the police is going after the boy in this sorry for child porn, yet the apparently left the girl alone? From what I've read, she knowingly and consesually had two cases of it on her phone that her phone parents showed the police.

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 15 Nov 2014 @ 7:55am

      Re: Why only the teenage boy

      You're not seriously expecting girls to get criticized for poor decisions regarding sex, are you? Obviously it's the guy's fault!

      What are ya, some male chauvinist pig?

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

  • identicon
    Socratease, 15 Nov 2014 @ 12:00pm

    So much stupid going around

    1. Teenage kids do something stupid. (Like that never happens.) Parents find out.
    2. Parents do something stupid and take it to cops instead of dealing with it themselves.
    3. Cops, instead of telling parents how stupid it is, take the stupid to the next level and make a criminal case out of it. Big Mistake with inevitable consequences.
    4. Having been called stupid by a lawyer, cop doubles down on stupid and sues lawyer for telling the truth.

    Moral: Adding government to a problem rarely makes it smaller.

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

  • identicon
    Vesparado, 15 Nov 2014 @ 1:19pm

    Tell me more about this "chemically induced" erection...

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 16 Nov 2014 @ 3:48am

      Re:

      Tell me more about this "chemically induced" erection...


      It's in the mail as we speak. You might want to turn of the spam filter, though.

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

  • identicon
    Barkahn, 15 Nov 2014 @ 5:09pm

    5th Amendment right

    In addition to this police and policeman being "crazy"--and ugly--isn't their conduct a violation of the teen's Fifth Amendment right?

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

  • identicon
    paulb, 16 Nov 2014 @ 8:15am

    It's difficult to see the difference between Manassas PD and NAMBLA. They both serve their constituents and have a dedicated interest in anatomical photography.

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

  • identicon
    Damian, 18 Nov 2014 @ 11:05pm

    Where do you draw the line

    This is what happens when you live in a filthy feminist society, when you grow breasts, you can do what ever you want, God forbid a pair of tits gets put on trial, its absolutely understandable that her retarded parents need to protect their perverted daughter and exploit any dick in her vicinity. Im surprised hes not being charged with rape. But not to worry everybody, as long as the Virginia Pedophile Police Department gets all the child penis photos they want, the feminist society we live in will be ok.
    Its not like we have more important things to worry about in this world, HOW FUCKING RETARDED IS THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA THAT WHAT A BOY DOES WITH HIS PENIS BECOMES THE CRIME OF THE CENTURY. Whats next, your gonna start flogging men in the public square for getting erections, and everybody born with a pair of tits automatically becomes a victim, regardless of how filthy and perverted they are? Her's a thought, why dont you idiots just outlaw dicks all together, this way the sick feminist whores can feel good about their retarded existence.

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

  • identicon
    Damian, 19 Nov 2014 @ 10:43am

    Dont get me wrong people, were not much better here in Canada, especially with our sick CAMH institutions who test human beings in disgusting and inhumane ways, seems like they are finishing the work of the Nazis. While the rest of the world is getting smarter and stronger, all we can focus on is what men and boys do with their dicks and in the mean time cater to women in every aspect of their lives as if they were god's themselves. Feminism will bring North America to its knees and by the time we realize it it will be to late.

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

  • identicon
    John Larsson, 27 Nov 2014 @ 5:32am

    Penomet review

    Well Damian, i think that your post does make sense, but here in Germany we don't have the same rights when it comes to extend our penis ;)

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

  • identicon
    Damian, 1 Dec 2014 @ 5:29pm

    John, I have nothing against Germany, I believe Germany is and always was a great nation, but unfortunately in the past Germany was plagued by the sickness brought by the Nazis, just like North America today is plagued by feminism. I don't blame Germany for taking action after the Treaty of Versailles, just as I don't blame women for fighting for their rights, but greed is a sick disease, and some people just don't know when to stop. It happened in the past, and its happening now, lets hope that cooler heads prevail.

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


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