Maryland Appeals Court Says Sexting Teen Is A Child Pornographer

from the just-like-state-lawmakers-intended-i-guess dept

Far too many prosecutors in far too many states have trouble reading child porn statutes. Instead of reading them how they're intended to be read -- to punish adults who victimize minors -- they read them to include the criminalization of minors participating in sexting. When these pictures and videos are shared, these justice system components become contortionists in order to treat subjects of recordings as their own child pornographers.

If only the courts weren't so willing to help. Instead of stopping this abuse of the law, they become part of the problem, offloading it on legislators who just aren't all that willing to alter existing child porn laws. Some legislators no doubt believe minors should be treated as sex offenders for engaging in sexting, even when the sexual acts themselves are legal. It's the documentation that's the problem.

Mark Joseph Stern of Slate has uncovered another one of these unfortunate incidents. This one is more unfortunate than most because of the actions of one of the recipients of the recorded sex act.

In 2016, a 16-year-old Maryland student known as S.K. in court documents sent a brief cellphone video to two friends. The clip depicted S.K. performing oral sex on an unknown man—a legal activity in Maryland, where the age of consent is 16. She sent the video as part of a game in which the friends attempted to “one-up” each other with “silly photos and videos.” A few months later, S.K. had a falling-out with one recipient of the video, a 17-year-old boy known as K.S. He began to mock S.K., allegedly writing that she was a “slut” on classroom blackboards. He then reported the video to the school resource officer, Eugene Caballero.

Once the school cop was dragged into this, it was all over. Cops have a very small set of tools and they apply them carelessly to situations that don't demand this specialized equipment. S.K. went to a meeting with the school resource officer under the assumption he was going to help stop the distribution of this video. Of course, Caballero wasn't going to help with that. Caballero was just collecting evidence to be used against S.K., who at this point was arguably the victim of revenge porn, given the unauthorized sharing of the video she'd recorded. Caballero took her statement and passed it on to state prosecutors. This was the end result:

Maryland then charged S.K. with illegally distributing child pornography and displaying an obscene item to a minor. She was found guilty by a juvenile court, which found her delinquent as a distributor of child pornography. The court sentenced S.K. to supervised probation and placed her on electronic monitoring. Her punishment required her to report to a probation officer periodically, allow him to visit her home, obtain permission before leaving the state, submit to weekly drug urinalysis, and complete an anger management course.

S.K. challenged the sentence, pointing out that the law does not provide for charging the subject of alleged child porn with child pornography production. Like a lot of these laws, the language unfortunately appears to allow victims of child porn production to be treated as perpetrators. You are your own child pornographer, says the Maryland Court of Appeals [PDF].

The court compares other states' poorly-written laws with Maryland's poorly-written law and comes to the conclusion that a minor victim of revenge porn is the producer of child pornography.

We refuse to read into the statute an exception for minors who distribute their own matter, and thus we believe S.K.’s adjudication as delinquent under CR § 11-207 must be upheld.

That reading seems sympathetic to the state's arguments. It said the state law was put in place to punish any distribution of child porn, no matter who created it. Even if porn contained a recording of two consenting minors (both participants were above the legal age of consent), the creation and distribution of the recording was a criminal act. The court looks at the law and decides the legislative intent was to treat minors as their own pornographers.

Here, S.K is prosecuted as a “child pornographer” for sexting and, because she is a minor, her actions fell directly within the scope of the statute. The General Assembly has consistently expanded the scope of the statute to assist in the eradication of any form of child pornography. As written, the statute in its plain meaning is all encompassing, making no distinction whether a minor or an adult is distributing the matter.

Therefore, based on this intent and the unambiguous language, we believe S.K.’s conduct falls within the purview of the statute.

It then tosses in a half-hearted apologetic shrug.

In affirming this adjudication, however, we recognize that there may be compelling policy reasons for treating teenage sexting different from child pornography.

The dissent says this is wrong. A plain reading of the law makes it clear the state shouldn't be punishing subjects of child porn as child pornographers. This is a failure of the court, according to the dissent, not a failure of legislation.

As provided by S.K., the statute creates a dichotomy “between the pornographer, or “person,” and victim, or “minor” so that these two actors are different individuals[.]” 1 Therefore, I conclude that the plain language of Crim. Law § 11-207(a)(4)(i) does not permit S.K. to be delinquent for transmitting a visual representation of herself. There is ambiguity in Crim. Law § 11-207(a). (“We have said that there is an ambiguity within a statute when there exist two or more reasonable alternative interpretations of the statute.” Bellard v. State, 452 Md. 467, 481, 157 A.3d 272, 280 (2017)). When such ambiguity exists, “the job of this Court is to resolve the ambiguity in light of the legislative intent[.]”

If the court really wanted to examine legislative intent, it could have started by examining statements of intent made by the court itself in other cases.

In reflecting on a Petitioner’s First Amendment challenge to his conviction of photographing a minor engaged in sexual conduct in violation of § 11-207(a)(2), this Court asserted that “we balance the right to freedom of expression against the right of the State to protect children against sexual exploitation.” Id. at 36, 641 A.2d at 878 (emphasis added). Therefore, the Court illuminated the General Assembly’s intent to protect children against sexual exploitation under Crim. Law § 11-207(a). In the case at bar, S.K. was not being exploited by someone else. She made a video depicting consensual sexual conduct. The General Assembly did not seek to subject minors who recorded themselves in non-exploitative sexual encounters to prosecution, as reflected by the language of Crim. Law § 11-207(a). Rather, the statute contemplates protecting children from the actions of others that bear negatively upon them.

Since this recording was not abusive and was not a depiction of a minor engaged in a sex act with an exploitative adult, there's no crime here. The sex was consensual as was the recording. And yet, this is only the dissent. Prosecutors in the state are free to punish minors for recording legal, consensual sex acts. Since these recordings only end up in court after someone has shared them with people the recording party didn't want them shared with, the court is allowing prosecutors to punish teens for the terrible things classmates and acquaintances have done to them.

Filed Under: child porn, maryland, sexting


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  • icon
    That One Guy (profile), 3 Sep 2019 @ 10:55am

    Puritanical pinheads and priorites in punishment

    Have sex at 16? Entirely legal, no legal consequences whatsoever.

    Record the act of having sex at 16? Charged and convicted of producing child porn, and have to deal with all that entails.

    When the act of recording completely legal sex is treated as a heinous crime, with the law being so badly written that the 'criminal' and 'victim' can be the same person you know either it's horribly written and needs to be scrapped and re-written to be less insane, those interpreting it need their heads checked, or both.

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    • identicon
      David, 3 Sep 2019 @ 1:42pm

      Re: Puritanical pinheads and priorites in punishment

      with the law being so badly written that the 'criminal' and 'victim' can be the same person

      So? It's not been all that long since suicide was a crime and you could be punished for attempting it.

      Also, you are prohibited from selling yourself into slavery. And of course, minors can engage in marketing themselves aggressively for prostitution, and similarly can market themselves aggressively for child pornography.

      Now child pornography laws are not about protecting the specific actors in the U.S. or it would not make sense that they apply to Manga (you don't need to agree that it makes sense as long as the courts agree). They are about protecting society from encouraging sexual acts with minors.

      So there is no contradiction involved when prosecuting either adults or minors for producing what appears like depictions of minors (regardless of whether they actually are minors). Nor for prosecuting minors as adults when the depravity of their acts in connection with their level of maturity makes it clear that applying more lenient standards does not serve to accommodate mere adolescent errors.

      All that being said, the kind of prosecution one sees for sexting tend to make a mockery of possible reasons for lawmakers to consider that kind of prosecution. There may be a defensible justification for the availability of every step of the legal process applied here, but put together and viewed in light of the total occurence in purview of the court, the consequences chosen for sexting tend to be complete bullshit.

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      • identicon
        Bruce C., 3 Sep 2019 @ 5:14pm

        Re: Re: Puritanical pinheads and priorites in punishment

        My initial thought was that if she filmed herself having oral sex with her (then) 17 year old boyfriend, isn't the boyfriend the underage "victim" here, at least for the purposes of the child pornography law? It's pretty hard for her to have filmed oral sex without including his body in the video too. But the ruling clearly accepts the presumption that she is the only minor depicted in the video.

        The only saving grace is that this was juvenile court, and she won't have to register as a sex offender.

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        • identicon
          David, 4 Sep 2019 @ 5:49am

          Re: Re: Re: Puritanical pinheads and priorites in punishment

          My initial thought was that if she filmed herself having oral sex with her (then) 17 year old boyfriend, isn't the boyfriend the underage "victim" here, at least for the purposes of the child pornography law?

          Child pornography laws are not as much about protecting the actors but about protecting society from adults corrupted by child pornography. That's why you can be prosecuted for possession of Manga, or for possession of pornography created by actors of legal age but styled to look younger.

          The act of molesting children during the creation of child pornography is separately punishable. But that is not what these sexting cases are about.

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    • icon
      Bergman (profile), 3 Sep 2019 @ 9:37pm

      Re: Puritanical pinheads and priorites in punishment

      Sending a selfie and commentary: legal, first amendment-protected activity.

      Having consensual sex while older than the age of consent: completely legal.

      Combining those two perfectly legal activities: felony.

      If the only the\ing that turns legal activity into a felony is exercise of a constitutionally-protected right, then the child pornography law, as interpreted by the state of Maryland, is unconstitutional.

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    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 4 Sep 2019 @ 6:09am

      Re: Puritanical pinheads and priorites in punishment

      "...illegally distributing child pornography and displaying an obscene item to a minor."

      Not just recording the act.

      Seems easy enough to me to explain to your kids that some things are illegal to do until you are an adult. Such as drink alcohol and star in porn pics/movies.

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      • icon
        nasch (profile), 4 Sep 2019 @ 9:16am

        Re: Re: Puritanical pinheads and priorites in punishment

        Seems easy enough to me to explain to your kids that some things are illegal to do until you are an adult. Such as drink alcohol and star in porn pics/movies.

        And teenagers never do things their parents warn them not to do, so there's that problem solved.

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        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 4 Sep 2019 @ 11:38am

          Re: Re: Re: Puritanical pinheads and priorites in punishment

          Well then, that must be why all the shootings, we decided to tell them it was wrong to kill people.

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    • icon
      nasch (profile), 4 Sep 2019 @ 9:18am

      Re: Puritanical pinheads and priorites in punishment

      Have sex at 16? Entirely legal, no legal consequences whatsoever.
      Record the act of having sex at 16? Charged and convicted of producing child porn, and have to deal with all that entails.

      Pay someone to have sex with you? You're going to jail. Pay someone to have sex with you on video, and then attempt to sell the video? Totally legal.

      Yeah we have some real problems around sex in this country.

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 3 Sep 2019 @ 10:57am

    I'm fairly certain that when legislatures originally wrote their child porn laws they never took into account the chance that a minor would record themselves and distribute it themselves willingly.

    That said the courts decision is loony.

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  • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
    identicon
    U. R. Insane, 3 Sep 2019 @ 11:02am

    So, in your liberal world, minors can't commit crimes?

    And here at Techdirt, even after appeal, it's just lunacy to read the law as written?

    Sheesh.

    This site also wrote several pieces advocating throwing out for convictions of downloading child porn due to technical violation of a mere Court Rule that's since been fixed.

    Clear history is that Techdirt is NOT supporting rights nor reason, but supporting child pornography, every time.

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

    • identicon
      Baron von Robber, 3 Sep 2019 @ 11:10am

      Re: So, in your liberal world, minors can't commit crimes?

      Was it Mike's rejection of your advances that brought you to this?

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

    • icon
      Stephen T. Stone (profile), 3 Sep 2019 @ 11:16am

      in your liberal world, minors can't commit crimes?

      In the real world, I assume a significant number of people would see this situation not as a child porn case, but as a case of the state going way overboard with child porn charges brought against the subject of the alleged child porn — and also a case where the state seemingly ignored the revenge porn angle so it could punish a young girl for recording herself in a sex act.

      here at Techdirt, even after appeal, it's just lunacy to read the law as written?

      If the law as written is bad? Yes. A law that basically says “if you film yourself having sex while you’re under the age of 18, you’re your own child pornographer and you’re going to fucking jail” is a bad law.

      This site also wrote several pieces advocating throwing out for convictions of downloading child porn due to technical violation of a mere Court Rule that's since been fixed.

      Even alleged child pornographers have rights, including the right to due process. I know you would rather shoot them through the back of the head to save everyone the mess of things like “trials” and “sentencing” and whatnot, but that isn’t how things work in the United States.

      Clear history is that Techdirt is NOT supporting rights nor reason, but supporting child pornography, every time.

      This is such a pathetic, fallacious reading of Techdirt articles on this subject that I can’t even mock it. It mocks itself.

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      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 3 Sep 2019 @ 6:15pm

        Re:

        It's not surprising when you consider that the crux of many, many RIAA arguments is a closet love letter to the fact that child porn exists.

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    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 3 Sep 2019 @ 10:08pm

      Re: there’s a reason your nickname is *blue balls*

      You’re just mad teenagers teenagers are having more sex than you.

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

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 4 Sep 2019 @ 12:29am

        Re: Re:

        You're getting your trolls mixed up. blue's the Puritan who only performs intercourse under specific fetish-based scenarios, like a Fran Drescher mask. "More sex than you" taunts don't faze him.

        The troll who goes into hysterics from critiques on his sex life is John Smith.

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        • icon
          Wendy Cockcroft (profile), 5 Sep 2019 @ 8:15am

          Re: Re: Re:

          AC, your "Puritan" is Hamilton, a mad Ayyadurai fanboi who cheerled the anticipated smackdown of TD until it didn't happen at all. He hates me, Mike, and anyone who disagrees with him. Hilariously, he whines about censorship and slander/libel while repeating troll posts about me and insulting Mike, his family, his cat, the neighbour's dog, members of TD staff and assorted commenters. He freaks the hell out over having his posts hidden by the community and whines about censorship and Section 230.

          Blue hates Mike and "The Rich" but loves copyright despite that it's specifically used to benefit "The Rich." He's the mad conspiracy theorist who obsessively combs this site to find old accounts whose users rarely post to "prove" that Mike and his staff have nothing better to do than create fake accounts in order to pretend that TD has more commenters than it actually does. He loves to call us kids and pirates, etc. Favourite phrases include "Pirate Mike," "I made it, I own it," "common law," and "Another anomaly!" His mum is probably Cersei Lannister since he seems to think the truth is whatever he says it is.

          John Smith is the mad incel with some kind of mailing list get rich quick plan that would totally work it it wasn't for those pesky pirates, or something. He's also dead famous and is going to sue us all for taking the mickey out of him -- and, oh, the scandal! -- hiding his inane blather.

          Should I issue trading cards for them?

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  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 3 Sep 2019 @ 11:09am

    I think explaining vage wording in legislation to come to unreasonable conclusions that allow one to force a conviction of a minor of a sex offsense, where no such convition would have otherwise existed, should be a sex offense

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  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 3 Sep 2019 @ 11:13am

    What if as both victim and perpetrator, she sued herself for damages?

    Would the court allow this suit to go through since it is as equally as ridiculous as prosecuting her as both the victim and perpetrator?

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    • icon
      That One Guy (profile), 3 Sep 2019 @ 11:19am

      Re:

      Oh I so want to see that now. Highlight how utterly insane the law/interpretation of it is by suing herself for 'victimizing' herself.

      The odds of it even getting past an initial hearing would likely be close to if not actually zero as they pointed out that you can't sue yourself over something you did, but even that would serve the purpose of showing just how monumentally stupid/insane the law/judges are/were.

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

      • icon
        bhull242 (profile), 3 Sep 2019 @ 3:35pm

        Re: Re:

        I’m not sure that it is. There are a number of cases where an individual sued themself because of them acting in different capacities. Most of these involved insurance (including ones related to death), but as long as each side had their own competent attorney and a distinction can be made between the two sides, it’s not impossible that it could get past dismissal. It’s complicated.

        I’m interested in one similar idea: say a minor who is legally allowed to have sex records themselves doing something sexual, and that minor does not distribute the recording to anyone. That person then reports themself to the authorities, who charge them with possession of child pornography, sexual exploitation of a minor, or a similar charge. Remember that, under many jurisdictions, mere possession or production of child pornography is a crime, even if the porn is never distributed or advertised; also, when it comes to criminal law, even if someone is both alleged victim and alleged perpetrator, the controversy lies between the government and the suspect, not between victim and perpetrator.

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  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 3 Sep 2019 @ 12:10pm

    One thing that didn't seem to come up in any of this is what was the age of the other person in the video?

    I assume they were also under 18 (otherwise no doubt they'd have been the focus) so whilst it's harsh for her to be prosecuted for her imagery, it's not that unreasonable for her to get into trouble because of the other person in the video (for distributing and creating child porn plus also revenge porn) and in that case she seems to have got off light, considering in other cases the 'victims' have also been prosecuted as adults and added to the sex offenders list.

    Though that said having a scan through the court record, it seems she was the only person to get into trouble because the police/state took the lazy route - she admitted she was in the video and thus became their only focus as there didn't seem to be any attempt to identify the male in the video or investigate the other kids who were sent the video.

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    • icon
      Stephen T. Stone (profile), 3 Sep 2019 @ 12:39pm

      what was the age of the other person in the video?

      As far as I can tell, no one but the girl knows, and she didn’t tell anyone. In any case, the fact that the girl is above the age of consent in Maryland means the sex between the two was legal so long as they both consented to the act.

      whilst it's harsh for her to be prosecuted for her imagery, it's not that unreasonable for her to get into trouble because of the other person in the video

      If the man in the video was under or over 18, she would be in trouble regardless. Her age was 16; that makes her the victim of a child pornographer — which, in this absurdity of a case, is herself.

      it seems she was the only person to get into trouble because the police/state took the lazy route - she admitted she was in the video and thus became their only focus as there didn't seem to be any attempt to identify the male in the video or investigate the other kids who were sent the video

      Hmm. The police and the prosecution decided to railroad a girl for child pornography while seemingly ignoring the male “offenders” (i.e., the man in the video and the boy who reported the video in the first place). That seems rather odd…unless this was about policing female sexuality in some way, which I can see being at least a partial motivating factor in the decision to arrest her for, charge her with, and have her tried for essentially self-victimizing herself. Boys will be boys, girls will be sluts, or some such bullshit.

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      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 3 Sep 2019 @ 3:07pm

        Re:

        In any case, the fact that the girl is above the age of consent in Maryland means the sex between the two was legal so long as they both consented to the act.

        Are you saying that a boy can consent to sex at any age in Maryland? That can't possibly be true.

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        • icon
          bhull242 (profile), 3 Sep 2019 @ 3:45pm

          Re: Re:

          Assuming that the age of the boy is within a few years of the minor or is not a minor, then the girl may be legally allowed to have sex with any boy (though if the boy is too much older, he may be committing a crime). I don’t know for sure what Maryland, specifically, has for its laws, but they may have a “Romeo and Juliet” exception that allows for sex involving a minor with someone of a similar age as long as both give knowing consent.

          At any rate, no one involved in this case, directly or indirectly, has suggested that the boy was too young to have sex with her; no one seems to even know who the boy is. The prosecution and judge are not claiming that anyone involved in the case was below the age of consent, just that the girl is young enough to make the recording child pornography.

          I wonder, though, why the minimum age to allow for porn is higher than that for having sex or allowing them to view porn.

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          • identicon
            Anonymous Coward, 3 Sep 2019 @ 5:47pm

            Re: Re: Re:

            Assuming that the age of the boy is within a few years of the minor or is not a minor, then the girl may be legally allowed to have sex with any boy

            That's self-contradictory. "Any boy" and "any boy within a few years of her age" are totally different things.

            they may have a “Romeo and Juliet” exception

            That's a good example of common sense being encoded into law. But where does the name come from? Juliet was 13 but Romeo's age was never stated.

            I wonder, though, why the minimum age to allow for porn is higher than that for having sex or allowing them to view porn.

            Where's the age to view porn different from the age to be in porn? AFAIK both are 18 nationwide.

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            • identicon
              Anonymous Coward, 3 Sep 2019 @ 10:11pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re:

              I’m rather doubtful there is a federal statute specifying the minimum age to view pornography.

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

              • identicon
                Paul Brinker, 4 Sep 2019 @ 11:06am

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                I recall a father showing porn to kids as a tool to educate them about the birds and bees. Prosecutors tried to hit him with contributing to the delinquency of a minor and some sex crimes. The good news is while the court felt he was fairly foolish, he has no criminal intent and the education of his kids is ultimately his responsibility.

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            • icon
              bhull242 (profile), 21 Sep 2019 @ 12:31am

              Re: Re: Re: Re:

              The age to view porn is largely a state issue. I believe in some places it’s like 16 years of age.

              As for the first bit, I admit that that was worded absolutely horrendously. Just replace “any boy” with “any boy that fits the aforementioned requirements”.

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        • icon
          Stephen T. Stone (profile), 3 Sep 2019 @ 5:46pm

          Are you saying that a boy can consent to sex at any age in Maryland?

          This is pretty much otherwording, and I’m not responding to it.

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      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 3 Sep 2019 @ 4:13pm

        Re:

        In other cases like this the age of the other party generally has a bearing on who gets prosecuted.

        If the boy was over 18 then in cases like this they'd generally go after him and she'd just be treated as the victim.

        If the boy was under 18, then they could have removed any doubt by charging her for distributing his image instead because if he was under 18 it didn't matter if she was in the video or not.

        For the 'slut-shaming' it seems from the court record more they were just too lazy to investigate, though they did trick her into confessing so the initial officer might have wanted to teach her a lesson, but normally if they do that they put pressure on the others to try and snare the group which didn't seem to happen in this case, and in cases like that you tend to get a gleeful PR statement from the prosecutor which didn't seem to happen in this case.

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

      • icon
        Wendy Cockcroft (profile), 5 Sep 2019 @ 8:18am

        Re:

        Hmm. The police and the prosecution decided to railroad a girl for child pornography while seemingly ignoring the male “offenders” (i.e., the man in the video and the boy who reported the video in the first place). That seems rather odd…unless this was about policing female sexuality in some way, which I can see being at least a partial motivating factor in the decision to arrest her for, charge her with, and have her tried for essentially self-victimizing herself. Boys will be boys, girls will be sluts, or some such bullshit.

        Methinks you're correct, Mr. Stone.

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 3 Sep 2019 @ 2:07pm

      Re:

      If the man were under 18 then he becomes a victim of his child pornographer partner under this court's reading of the law. That this isn't part of the discussion tells me that the man was over 18.

      What's really stupid about this, beyond even the stupidity of the court, is that the age of consent is not the same as the age of adulthood such that this video would have gone unremarked upon. That you can be 16 and have all the sex you want but not be considered an adult and thus unable to make your own decisions for two more years is utterly devoid of thought.

      I'm willing to bet that Maryland's "age of consent" is really "age of being sold into child sex" where "consent" is really "you better go through with this or there will be consequences". That there is a 2 year gap between ok-to-screw and legal adult has to be nothing more than the result of old men wanting to bone young girls. If it was for the benefit of 16 year olds the age of responsibility would have been made to match age of consent.

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  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 3 Sep 2019 @ 1:49pm

    Where's the ambiguity

    A plain reading of the law makes it clear the state shouldn't be punishing subjects of child porn as child pornographers.

    You're going to have to explain that, because based on the linked article, that's the "contortionist" view:

    The law at issue, Hotten wrote, is genuinely ambiguous: It states that a “person may not” distribute material that “depicts a minor engaged as a subject in … sexual conduct.” Can the “person” who distributes this criminal material also be the “minor” who is “engaged as a subject” in it? In other words, does the law’s text allow the criminal and the victim to be the same individual?

    What rule of English would preclude the "person" and "minor" from being the same person? Sure, common sense revolts at the idea; I'd respect the dissenter more if they'd just said that (as SCOTUS famously did, once), because I can't see at all how the text is ambiguous.

    It does seem like children are affected more than adults by surprising quirks of sex laws. For example, I've never heard of two drunk adults having sex and then both being charged as rapists (which, under most laws, they would be—voluntary intoxication generally can't be used as a criminal defense).

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    • icon
      bhull242 (profile), 3 Sep 2019 @ 3:48pm

      Re: Where's the ambiguity

      In other laws involving the term “person” to refer to the perpetrator and some other broad term to refer to the victim, even if nowhere in the law is it made explicitly clear that the two terms must refer to separate individuals, the courts have, in some instances, read such a requirement into the law to prevent absurd or unconstitutional interpretations.

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  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 3 Sep 2019 @ 5:28pm

    The problem isn't with the reading of the laws, it's with the laws.

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

  • identicon
    Pixelation, 3 Sep 2019 @ 9:39pm

    Nice to see

    Nice to see that the courts aren't creating law and are only interpreting the law as written. Send it back to the ones writing it for correction.

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

  • identicon
    Rekrul, 4 Sep 2019 @ 7:35pm

    Officials believe child porn is the 21st century's version of heresy. The hunt for child porn is now a full-blown witch hunt. It must be stamped out at all costs, and if some people have to burned alive to save their souls and society, so be it!

    This won't change until some politician's child gets charged for sexting, then you'll see amendments to the law introduced double-quick.

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


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