A fifteen year old girl in Newark, OH faces being labelled a "sex offender" for sending naked cellphone photos of herself (a minor) to other minors. If convicted, she'll spend the next ten years on public registries, classed as a producer of child pornography. No word on what compensation she (as the victim of the crime) will be able to get from herself (as the perp).
According to Ohio law, 2907.323(A)(3) states anyone possessing material that shows a minor in a state of nudity is guilty of a fifth-degree felony. The violation also might qualify the juvenile as a Tier I sexual offender, which requires annual registration for a decade.

The section of the law the girl, who is a foster child, was charged with allows parents or guardians to take photos of their unclothed children for a list of acceptable purposes but does not provide an exemption for the child themselves.

Law didn't anticipate cell phone photo case

108 Responses to “Kids who photograph themselves naked are child pornographers and sex offenders in Ohio”

  1. zuzu says:

    Sorry but there is something wrong here. The first question that came to my mind was “Who sexualized this child?” What this girl did shouldn’t be criminalized but it isn’t healthy behavior either. This is a red flag, there is something else going on.

    Child? That’s a stretch.

    Legally she’s a minor, but unless she has a hormone disorder she’s certainly past the age of puberty — when evolutionary biology announces that we’re ready for sexual reproduction. “Nature” has long since sexualized her… literally with secondary sexual characteristics and functions.

    Adolescence is a relatively recent social construction, and that requires some serious criticism before we can honestly refer to her as a child. Perhaps “teenager” or “young adult”, but “child” is counter-factual at the very least.

    Besides, 15 or 16 is de rigeuer for losing virginity, though some of us gave it up a few years earlier and still grew to be healthy and rational.

    I’m genuinely unnerved by your socialization agenda, Noen. Way more than that “radical right-wing” AIP guy and his lame “traditional family” opinion.

  2. Anonymous says:

    @#51 Noen, et al:

    Curiously, why do you seem to think that teenagers are going to understand the consequences of their actions any less than adults would in a similar situation? I’ve seen, and heard of, lots of adults doing stupid things when they’re horny or drunk that they regret later — the only difference there is that the adults have already probably made the same mistakes once or twice, and still keep doing it anyway.

    Personally, I don’t see this sort of behaviour as any worse than, say, sneaking out of the house at night to go to an R-rated movie with some friends. Is it dumb? Yes. Will there be consequences? Probably (like getting grounded). Should the person be arrested and have their life ruined? No! This is no more someone that should be prosecuted than a first-time curfew breaker — the humiliation, I am certain, is more than enough punishment.

    Frankly, this wouldn’t even be an issue if people weren’t so pious and afraid of sex. The only reason we’re even having this discussion right now is because so many adults in this country (and increasingly elsewhere) seem to have the idea stuck in their heads that their precious little (12, 15, 18, 20-year-old) children are pure and free of sin and must be protected from everything “bad” at any cost until the end of time, and they couldn’t possibly be violent or sexual or act in any way human. But, surprise! Humans are sexual, and they are curious; pubescent teenagers, doubly so. Trying to claim that it’s somehow wrong or against the natural order of things flies in the face of basic human instinct. You can try to make a claim that we should be somehow “above” these instincts, but that’s like saying that a penguin should be able to fly because it has wings — it’s not the natural order of things.

  3. Captain Swing says:

    I’m not an American, so tell me to shut up, or stay the hell out, or whatever, but it seems to me that a lot of people are completely missing the mark here, especially Noen. People have always visualized other people in a sexual way, and the attraction towards young females is a genuine evolutionary advantage (less likely to be already pregnant by another male, more likely to be healthy/fecund, etc). So in a society like America, where the perfect human form, especially female, is emblazoned on billboards twenty feet high, is it any wonder that this girl is attempting to emulate her peers and (presumed) betters?
    I suspect that guys like Noen have an agenda (even if they don’t realize it), and it’s probably religious. I agree with him on one point, though…blame society! But which society is to blame. Could it be….The Law Society?
    I suppose my point here is that if you want a lot of childish laws that don’t make sense, then put a lot of childish people in charge of making them. Here in England we have a few REAL Laws that DO make sense (Magna Carta, Bill of Rights, etc) and in the U.S.A. you have, of course, the Constitution (although,without a Monarch, it’s authority is obviously based on different principles).
    We (the English) are now beginning to fully appreciate a basic principle of reasonable behavior regarding equitable community living – one we have been disregarding for a long time. And I suspect many thinking Americans may well be ahead of us on this (always leading the way)…and it’s ‘Don’t scribble in your Copy Book’.
    By the way, the renaissance artist Caravaggio made several extremely suggestive paintings of young boys, some even pre-pubescent (and he used a camera obscura). Should we dig him up and lock him up? How far is this mania concerning ‘proper behavior’ going to take us down what could be a very dark path (remember the Salem witch trials).
    Love and peace to all who love in peace.

  4. noen says:

    Kyle
    why in Ah-Pook’s sweet name would she EVER expect there to be CRIMINAL consequences for taking pictures… OF HERSELF?

    I don’t believe she should suffer criminal consequences. I never said any such thing. Did you really think that what I meant? I objected to the blasé attitude of some towards what is a serious problem. That doesn’t mean I think she ought to have gone to jail.

    cameras haves been around for a long time but you had to have the photos developed

    Nonsense, the Polaroid SX-70 was invented in ’72 and widely available. While I’m sure some very few kids did secretly photograph themselves it wasn’t like this. 11 and 12 year olds didn’t get pregnant either, not like today. Nor was the media as hypersexualized as it is today. Our culture is not healthy, there is a great deal of dysfunction out there.

  5. zuzu says:

    @ Buddy66

    Oh damn, I totally missed that decimal point. Good thing it wasn’t a medication error instead! :p

  6. macrumpton says:

    Perhaps the victim of the crime can plead for leniency on the part of the perpetrator.

  7. zuzu says:

    @Noen

    This girl clearly does not understand what she has done. I feel sorry for her.

    This statement is s ncrdbly arrogant. There’s nothing “clear” about that except in your own sclly cnsrvtv / prdsh head.

    You’re also belittling the cognitive ability that young people do have; you’re infantilizing them. Go read some John Holt or John Taylor Gatto.

    Nor was the media as hypersexualized as it is today. Our culture is not healthy, there is a great deal of dysfunction out there.

    Our culture has problems… such as jingoism, willingness to follow leaders, cognitive dissonance, and the praise of ignorance. But “hypersexualization” is not one of them; if anything a long-standing problem has been prds lk y shaming or condemning people against exploring their sexuality.

    Call me crazy if you like but I think that passing sexual photos of yourself around to all your friends, at 15, is not normal. And if it’s becoming a statistical norm it’s not healthy.

    Y’r crzy. Nudie pictures / “I’ll show you mine if you show me yours” should precede actual fcking by a few years, and normal people lose their virginity by 15.

  8. Takuan says:

    nothing like nudity to cure an obsession with nudity. Most first visits to nude beaches result in disappointment and the same goes for sex clubs and orgies. Physical attractiveness,like intelligence, is on a curve.

  9. Tenn says:

    The first question that came to my mind was “Who sexualized this child?”

    His name is Puberty, and he comes wickedly in the night.

  10. zuzu says:

    Furthermore, media is not the issue… I’m quite skeptical that people actually emulate media, but rather that media is the mirror of society, and where we need to look for the causes of that ugly reflection are far more likely from other social institutions: the state, the schools, the church, and the heredity of parenting — the places where we actually receive interactive feedback and more importantly the imposition of social control on our behavior.

    If we’re sick, it’s because of how we were raised by our parents, our teachers, our religious leaders, and by anyone wearing a uniform.

    c.f. R. D. Laing‘s The Politics of Experience

  11. Takuan says:

    all that’s changed is photography.

  12. Anonymous says:

    The way this case is being handled in legal terms is clearly ridiculous; however, I agree with Noen and others and that this case is a little unsettling to me.

    I was a sexually active 15 year old, all fully consensual and safe, yet I had no desire to share naked pics of myself with large numbers of people. For me this story reflects what I find a worrying trend in young women seeing themselves increasingly in sexualised and objectified terms. I guess in the States there is the equivalent of the ‘Nuts’ magazine generation, and it leaves me a little queasy to think of glamour modelling as aspirational to school girls.

    Add that to the fact most kids in care have self-worth issues and I see it as more than everyday harmless fun.

  13. Takuan says:

    Tenn-chan, irrashai!

  14. dainel says:

    investigation into the incident remains open, including exploring whether charges will be filed against the minors who received the photos.

    So you could be guilty without doing anything at all? Suppose I send these kinds of photos to Bush?

    How to get your rival in jail in 7 easy steps.
    1) get his/her phone number
    2) buy prepaid handphone
    3) get child porn
    4) tip off police
    5) stake out rival’s house
    6) when the police knocks on the door, send the photos
    7) celebrate

  15. Willie McBride says:

    @Noen: Nonsense, the Polaroid SX-70 was invented in ’72 and widely available. While I’m sure some very few kids did secretly photograph themselves it wasn’t like this.

    You’re kidding! Polaroid! You couldn’t easily create copies of the pictures or send them to others, every picture had a perceptible cost, not to mention that the Polaroid market penetration was never even of the same order of magnitude of the digital cameras, and digital cameras are not the only thing you can use to take pictures.

  16. buddy66 says:

    Yeah, most 15-year-old girls are quite capable of sexualizing themselves without help from anyone but Mother Nature. I know whereof I speak — from progressive experience as boyfriend, father, and grandfather.

    The red flags should go up when pre-pubescent girls start acting out adult sexual behavior.

  17. Anonymous says:

    Can I just say, “christian policy”,or possibly religious conditioning, think about it, anything you do in America that constitutes immorality, or sin, often has a base in nudity. When will people stop being influenced and controlled by the church? When will it happen? I am sick to death of being told that this is the wrong thing to do. OK, I know right from wrong. Its wrong to hit someone in the face with a metal pipe. It IS NOT wrong for a human being to be naked nude bare whatever you want to call it. Damn these people and their policies, I vote for nudity 100%. Kiss my ass, wait, you can’t because its covered by your friggin jeans, (WHO EVER ENJOYED WEARING JEANS?) I mean seriously, I get home and I strip naked, I hate clothes, people are not meant to be covered in clothes. PERIOD. That is a fact. You cannot find one single person on the planet earth who will say, “Oh yeah, I feel much more comfortable, and not to mention natural, in a shirt and jeans and friggin socks and shoes, than I do naked. CAN YOU TELL I AM FRUSTRATED BY THIS PROBLEM WE HAVE. It will never be solved though. We’re too far unadvanced, thats right, UN, advanced, to figure out that we could be really happy, and comfortable without a bunch of cloth PLASTERED, I SAY PLASTERED, to our bodies.

  18. bobhughes says:

    perfectly normal teens have taken private photos of themselves for a long time now, they don’t necessarily have to have been “sexualized” to be coaxed by a peer into doing it, or even to originate the idea themselves. the problem is that the internet & digital imaging have made it alot easier for kids to do this, and i’m sure most kids get the idea from other kids in school or online before hearing about it from their parents (if the parents ever even bring up the behavior & its dangers). and it is dangerous, because this material ends up in the hands of unintended recipients, including sex predators.

    so this law won’t stop everyone’s kids from getting molested. just some of them.

  19. Anonymous says:

    Better do some research…
    already happened in Utah (no surprise there), and while I didn’t pay close attention, I “believe” all of them went to court.
    Thing that sticks in my mind is comments about the law (Federal) REQUIRING the to be registered as so-called “sex offenders”.

    Possibly State law also.

  20. Anonymous says:

    Late to the party as usual…

    I grew up in the sixties and seventies. All known sexually transmitted diseases were trivially curable (until Hong Kong Mary came back from Viet Nam). Condoms could be purchased from vending machines in all-night diners but were unpopular because The Pill was available from your family doctor (if your mother agreed, or from the local Dr. Feelgood if not).

    If you’re upset that a 15 year old would take nude pictures of herself (in an age where food processing has lowered the onset of puberty to around 9 years old) you really, really, really don’t want to know what 15 year old kids were getting up to in 1975.

    –Charlie

  21. garys says:

    The First Amendment generally protects all forms of expression (“Congress shall make no law … abridging the freedom of speech…”).

    Some of the exceptions (to “no law”) are considered valid because they protect victims of the creation of the free expression. That is, by making child pornography illegal, children are protected from exploitation by the producers of the child pornography.

    When a 16-year-old wants to engage in First Amendment protected speech, such as by taking a photograph of herself, it is hard to see how the First Amendment could possibly be avoided. It is almost a truism that the First Amendment can never be voided using the argument that allowing a person to engage in free expression by taking a photograph of themselves doing something legal (i.e. it is legal to be unclothed in private) would result in self-victimization.

    In any event, there is a fascinating First Amendment issue here.

  22. Anonymous says:

    I have an ongoing debate with my father (a lawyer.) I believe that the primary job of the politicians is the creation and maintenance of the law. When they write stupid or unenforceable laws, they should have to pay a fine for it. My father feels that the average tax-payer should have to bankrupt himself (and enrich lawyers) to have the courts determine the “nuances” and what the laws really mean.

    Common sense, unfortunately, is no longer common.

    One of the details which mess it up is that it is a foster child. It certainly shouldn’t have gone public–public information has been perverted into this kind of mess. A private meeting with a magistrate is in order (because of the foster status of the child). Possibly a transfer to a private girl’s school is in order as well. She labelled herself a slut–something which is not overcome in high school.

  23. zuzu says:

    The red flags should go up when pre-pubescent girls start acting out adult sexual behavior.

    But it was the ultimate ironic critique of beauty pageant culture in Little Miss Sunshine!

  24. Takuan says:

    just wait for HomeKloneKits.

  25. zuzu says:

    Mr. Handley’s case began in May 2006 when he received an express mail package from Japan that contained seven Japanese comic books. That package was intercepted by the Postal Inspector, who applied for a search warrant after determining that the package contained cartoon images of objectionable content. Unaware that his materials were searched, Handley drove away from the post office and was followed by various law enforcement officers, who pulled him over and followed him to his home. Once there, agents from the Postal Inspector’s office, Immigration and Customs Enforcement Agency, Special Agents from the Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation, and officers from the Glenwood Police Department seized Handley’s collection of over 1,200 manga books or publications; and hundreds of DVDs, VHS tapes, laser disks; seven computers, and other documents. Though Handley’s collection was comprised of hundreds of comics covering a wide spectrum of manga, the government is prosecuting images appearing in a small handful.

    “PROTECT” stands for Prosecutorial Remedies and Other Tools to end the Exploitation of Children Today

  26. Tenn says:

    Danke, Tak-san!

    All my friends were super sexualized around the age of 15-16 and then we all calmed down. One time a friend of mine said hey wanna see an anime pic and BAMF, my male best friend’s penis.

    I keep telling my friends not to make porn of themselves, they fail to listen. A while back Buddy got his phone taken up and almost got charged because he was taking pictures of his girlfriend’s pregnant belly. On school property.

  27. zuzu says:

    and it is dangerous, because this material ends up in the hands of unintended recipients, including sex predators. so this law won’t stop everyone’s kids from getting molested. just some of them.

    Contemporary “stranger danger” panic vastly exaggerates the reality of the risk.

    Your kids are statistically most likely to be molested by a parent or “creepy uncle”, if ever (which is still exceedingly rare).

  28. zuzu says:
    Go read some John Holt or John Taylor Gatto.

    Holy crap what a couple of nutcases! Really!? This is the best you got? These flamming kooks? Seriously Zuzu, your ideas are waaaaayyyy out of mainstream and into extremist territory.

    “… the human animal is a learning animal; we like to learn; we are good at it; we don’t need to be shown how or made to do it. What kills the processes are the people interfering with it or trying to regulate it or control it.”

    Yes, clearly that’s crazy talk. Children must remain in the Skinner box of the education system, to be socialized for the Common Good, right? ::sarcasm::

    BTW there is no info on a “Jason Clock”. Let me guess, SciFI writer?

    Jason Clock is Jason Clockpolk, according to the profile.

    Did you mean Peter Chung? He’s the guy who created Aeon Flux (the one that was on MTV’s Liquid Television, not the one with Charlize Theron), and did character designs for Phantom 2040 and Alexander Senki.

  29. Takuan says:

    let the children run with the children and the elders guard them,such is the natural order of things.

  30. Uncle_Max says:

    jackie31337 @52: Basically what Takuan said at 53. The police know who the people in the pictures were, asked who they sent them to, and continued to go along until the trail ran out. There’s no way they’d EVER have a full list, but they at least had to verify that they ones they could be sure of had been deleted.

    And NEON, apparently you’ve missed the amazing revolution in cell phone cameras. If you honestly think it’s just as easy to take a polaroid and give it to somebody as it is to take a picture with a cell phone and IM it to a few people, then you must have a terrible old phone. I can guarantee most of these cases are impulsive acts of somebody showing off for their girlfriend or boyfriend, rather than a result of abuse.

  31. Anonymous says:

    Does this mean that a minor masturbating is considered statutory rape?

  32. Anonymous says:

    look at the world history before deciding on nudity and sex laws.
    kids have always had a sexual feeling, and it starts in the womb! Kids also like to share with others, those nice feelings.
    So, kids have not been sexualized by the boogieman, and all of a sudden, they are sexual beings, they always had sexual feelings, and bad parents think little jonnie or suzie playing with themselves proves someone molested the poor innocents…
    Sorry, but there are too many other societies where adults and children are nude day and night, and the kids interact sexually with whomever they wish. They grow up to have great lives, just not perverted as americans.

  33. Takuan says:

    better burn all those snaps of your baby on a fur rug or in the tub.

  34. Jasonclock says:

    @ #48 ZUZU

    I’m totally off topic now but when someone quotes my hero Peter Chung I just have to go w00t

  35. lgagnon says:

    It’s things like these that make me wish someone in TV land made an American version of Monkey Dust. The Paedofinder General would fit in perfectly in this country.

  36. Maddy says:

    I knew this one was coming. I wonder if it’s a crime for a 15 year old to lift her shirt and show her boobs to another 15 year old next? And the kids who got the cell pictures? This is behavior you sit down and talk to your kids about, not ruin their lives forever. For kids doing what kids have done for years, just using technology to do so? And the quote about this being a trend of “youths committing serious adult crimes”???? What is wrong with these prosecutors?????

  37. zuzu says:

    @ JasonClock

    Yeah, he’s fucking brilliant. I kinda wish academia could be as fanboy about him as they are about people like Slavoj Žižek.

    Even with his intentional coyness — allowing viewers to arrive at their own interpretations of his work — what he does reveal in the commentary tracks of the remastered Aeon Flux DVDs are by themselves worth the price.

  38. jackie31337 says:

    noen @51: “Children who have been sexually abused in some way are said to have been sexualized and that is how I was using the word. Their behavior is sexually precocious, abnormal.”

    That is by no means universally true. Sexual abuse definitely results in all kinds of psychological fallout, but there is no one predictable pattern to it. I was molested by an older boy in my neighborhood when I was 9. I can assure you, my sexual behavior was anything BUT precocious as a result of that. When my body started to mature and boys started noticing me, I starved myself in an attempt to keep my little girl body. I was not only not interested in boys or sex, I was AFRAID of them. At 15, I had never had a boyfriend or kissed a boy. It took me another 5 years after that to get to the point where I acknowledged and accepted my sexuality. THAT is abnormal.

    Normal teens have a sex drive, and these days they also have access to digital technology. Taking nude pictures of yourself and sharing them with some of your friends is probably not a very bright thing to do, but I would hardly call it abnormal.

  39. masamunecyrus says:

    We had a big case about this not too long ago in Indiana, where some 18 year old guy had sex with his 17 year old girlfriend and her parents found out, didn’t like him, and turned it into a police thing.

    We’ve since amended the law here so that you aren’t put on to the sexual offenders list if you’re within 4 years of age of the person you’re doing the act to.

  40. Anonymous says:

    We enforce the death penalty for sex offenders, last time in our country we prosecuted a 13yo girl for taking naked herself and sending it to her guy friends… Amen

  41. demidan says:

    Ack! Up until the 17th Century Children were small adults, they fought and died, married alongside “real” adults. During the Victorian times in England life expectancy for the working poor of London was 21; you got married at 13 or 14 pumped out as many offspring as possible and then died. 2008 children who would be horny and safe in any other period in history can now be put on “offenders” list, now that is progress I can believe in!

    Pray tell me when you can go to jail after using a public restroom and someone sees you zip up.

  42. wynneth says:

    As always I am only here to give kudos to ZUZU, TAKUAN, and TENN who are, as 90% of the time, right on target. Cheers.

  43. creesto says:

    You know, I like probably a goodly number of others now adult in age, spent many thrilling moments as a child doing ‘stuff’ which some would classify as deviant or perverted. I am a very healthy mid-life adult with a more than healthy sexual appetite (avg. roughly .8 occurences of sex per day) and I owe it to how I grew up and learned about myself and others. Hopefully my boys will be as happy and self aware as adults.

  44. node says:

    She goes to “Licking Valley High School”.

  45. sammich says:

    ‘The law… allows parents or guardians to take photos of their unclothed children for a list of acceptable purposes’

    O the folly of laws that proscribe everything except for pre-imagined acceptable behaviours.

    *disclaimer – I know nothing

    (do I have to burn the photos of myself as a naked child if I move to Ohio? I didn’t take them.)

  46. zuzu says:

    When you were 15 years old, getting nude photos from your sexy friends and classmates (or giving them to the ones you had a crush on) was exactly what you were interested in nearly all the time. Was that unhealthy? Should it be criminalized?

    Child pornography laws have a classic problem of trying to blame the tool rather than the behavior. The aim is to criminalize actual abuse, right? (Which seems quite legitimate as far as law goes.) But the laws were broadened to include dissemination and depiction of media of underage people either nude or performing sexual acts. That’s where the law has become, um, perverted.

    It’s no secret that post-pubescent humans who are also younger than the age of 18 are having sex with each other (as peers), or at least engaged in sexual behavior. And young people are stereotypically more adept at embracing and assimilating new technologies into their lives, so in any given population it will be younger people who will incorporate digital photography and video into their sex lives, statistically speaking.

    I thought that state laws allow for this in their “age of consent” laws such that, basically, minors having sex with other minors get different rules than minors having sex with, uh, majors. (And even then usually there’s stipulations so that a 16 year old having sex with an 18 year old does not statutory rape make.) Can’t the same considerations at least be made into these child pornography laws, at least?

  47. Baldhead says:

    Noen- She’s 15. 150 years ago she’d already be married an having kids. ALL teenagers think about sex, unless there’s something seriously, medically wrong with them.

    Back to the case… doesn’t she have to press charges? Can’t she ask to have them dismissed, as the victim?

  48. LSK says:

    Zuzu is 100% right here.

    I hate to cite /b/ here – but minors post pictures of their penii all the time. No prosecution there.

  49. zuzu says:

    (avg. roughly .8 occurences of sex per day)

    Everyday? If that’s not including masturbation, I’d like to know how you find time.

    Unless it’s your job, I suppose.

  50. zuzu says:

    It’s a universal tendency in films to be more about sex and violence than the real world is, but I would pose the opposite question: Why are so many characters that you see on TV so desexualized? A lot of them seem to be completely asexual — especially animated characters — and it implies that those characters are normal. The characters in Aeon Flux are normal people who have normal sex lives and appetites.

    Peter Chung

  51. Anonymous says:

    uhm.. i dont even think there should be any serious punishment.. ok.. she must have some problem as she is ‘flooding’ around with nude pictures of herself, but thats more a problem of education her parents gave her one would expect :/

    i mean.. what went wrong in case someone is throwing away this what some would call “self-respect” :/

    the lawsuit however ist redicouless ;)

  52. Uncle_Max says:

    At what point in a law career do you lose your sense of rationality?

    There was a case at a high school near me (Parkland High School, in Parkland, PA) where topless pictures of two underage girls and a picture of an underage couple having sex were sent around on cell phones. When the police were notified, they sent letters out to those they knew had received the pictures, and set up a day to check their phones to make sure the images were deleted. Then everybody went on with their lives, and the students were embarrassed, but not jailed or fined. Sounds like a far more fair decision to me.

  53. Blackbird says:

    This isn’t really new…it happened in Florida in January as well.

    http://news.cnet.com/Police-blotter-Teens-prosecuted-for-racy-photos/2100-1030_3-6157857.html

    That story is slightly different…but the crux of the argument is basically the same. How can anyone with an IQ over 6 figure that a person can be both the criminal AND the victim in the SAME CASE. This is illogical. It doesn’t make sense.

    In fact, IANAL, but I wonder if there would be some way to get this thrown out of court on a technicality. IE…since you have the right to face your accuser in court…and since there is only ONE of you (both accuser AND accused) you can’t really have a ‘fair’ trial.

  54. tjatja says:

    Yeah, good luck on getting the ‘victim’ to testify.

    The fifth amendment: “…nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself…”

    Trying to prove this case should be enought to make the prosecutor’s head explode.

  55. Sean Grimm says:

    Whoa. Whoa. Whoa. Ok, point number one is this girl should not be put on a sex offender registry–anyone with an ounce of common sense should realize that. All she needs is a strict talking to about the appropriateness of such things. This isn’t why I’m posting though.

    This part is:
    “The section of the law the girl, who is a foster child, was charged with allows parents or guardians to take photos of their unclothed children for a list of acceptable purposes”

    What-the-heck!? What POSSIBLE reasons could they be allowing foster parents and guardians to be taking pictures of their naked children? I mean does this allow for things beyond the obligatory embarrassing picture of you naked in the bath as a kid photo that gets taken out and shown to your girlfriend/boyfriend years later? What kind of things are Ohioans up to?

  56. oxymoron69 says:

    “When you were 15 years old, getting nude photos from your sexy friends and classmates”

    Wow… I only wish we had digital cameras widely available when I was 15.
    I woulda sent pictures of my wang to all sorts of girls.

    Growing up in the ’80s who knew you’d have a camera on your phone that fits IN YOUR POCKET that you can take pictures of your cock/vagina/boobs/ass and send them to all your friends in hopes of receiving the same back.

    Technology is awesome!

  57. Xopher says:

    TjaTja 14: What-the-heck!? What POSSIBLE reasons could they be allowing foster parents and guardians to be taking pictures of their naked children?

    “To document bruises inflicted by a foster child’s natural parents” springs to mind. Just for one.

  58. JFlex says:

    I guess this means all the high school kids on porn sites are molesting themselves. Lock ‘em up!

  59. WeightedCompanionCube says:

    Cory, your headline implies precedent. Even your summary makes it clear that if convicted she MIGHT be made to register. The law allows for it, but from what I can tell, that has never actually been the case. What’s unique about this case is that a state rep (and a Republican at that!) is trying to ensure she doesn’t have to register, because the punishment doesn’t fit the offense.

    *chortle*

    If I had to guess, that law probably allow such provisions to cover cases of older minors with illicit pictures of much younger kids. Now, that IS a problem. A 15-17 year old could reasonably be considered a pedophile if they are preying upon pre-teens.

    *snicker*

    …when I read there were “20 [other] cases involving questionable cell phone pictures” that were dropped in favor of counseling, it makes me think there is something else going on. Like, maybe she was selling the pictures or something else that shows real intent.

    *snerk…*

    BWAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA! I’m sorry… This just had to happen at “Licking Valley High School”… that’s just too classic!

    Headed for Fark in 3…. 2….

  60. lalo says:

    “anyone possessing material that shows a minor in a state of nudity is guilty of a fifth-degree felony”
    Does your own body qualify? I think Ohio is in trouble. OMG, mirrors everywhere!

  61. Anonymous says:

    This law reminds me of the Perry Bible Fellowship comic “Kitty Photographer” http://pbfcomics.com/?cid=PBF215-Kitty_Photographer.jpg
    (

  62. Secret_Life_of_Plants says:

    This is funny, (and maybe this makes me a pervert for even dreaming this up) but…

    I was wondering just yesterday, what would happen if you had been an extremely attractive young gay boy of 15, and in your later years, you found yourself to be attracted to young men of 15. You used images of yourself as a child as some sort of pornographic material — having sufficiently detached yourself psychologically from the fact that that young man in the picture was you at T1…If you are taking your prior self as object, is it still child porn? Or just self-pleasure?

  63. Daemon says:

    I remember a case a couple years ago where two teens who were dating took pictures of themselves together on their cellphones, and both were tried for child pornography – as adults…

  64. Secret_Life_of_Plants says:

    Also, does this mean that if I move to Ohio, I will have to get rid of my Sally Mann books?

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sally_Mann

  65. mikelotus says:

    It was inevitable that this would come up. This was nudity, but if a 15 year old films him or herself masturbating? There its not just nudity, which is not illegal no matter what Ohio says, but now a focus on just the sexual organs, is that 15 year old a producer of child pornography? And if yes, could they then be tried as an adult? You bet they could for the ultimate in irony. It will eventually happen, watch for it here.

  66. demidan says:

    Oh shit, I have naked pics of my baby,,, !

  67. eustace says:

    People who worry about the sexualizing of fifteen year olds should worry instead about the criminalizing of them. One of these things is clearly worse than the other; there are priorities in need of adjusting here.

  68. noen says:

    Zuzu
    You’re also belittling the cognitive ability that young people do have; you’re infantilizing them.

    Brain research absolutely verifies what I’ve said about the adolescent mind. Particularly the inability to form judgements about the consequences of their behavior. I would be saying the exact same thing for the same reasons if we were talking about giving 14 or 15 year olds general drivers licenses. There is a reason that children younger than 16 or 17 should not be allowed to drive, and for those same reasons they should not be sexually active.

    Go read some John Holt or John Taylor Gatto.

    Hly crp wht cpl f ntcss! Rlly!? Ths s th bst y gt? Ths flmmng kks? Srsly Zz, yr ds r wyyyy t f mnstrm nd nt xtrmst trrtry. BTW thr s n nf n “Jsn Clck”. Lt m gss, ScF wrtr?

    Our culture has problems [...] But “hypersexualization” is not one of them

    You don’t know much about advertizers and how they target children do you?

    I’m quite skeptical that people actually emulate media, but rather that media is the mirror of society

    Then what are all those mirror neurons for? The way we monkeys learn is by watching and then copying. Every parent knows, or ought to know, that the way you teach children how to behave is by modeling the behavior. Not through rules and words, those are ineffective. We humans are not born into this world automatically knowing how to fit in. We have to be installed into the semantic structure. Relying on TV and our consumerist culture to do our job for us has been a very bad mistake. Just ask Brittney Spears how well being sexually promiscious too young and having no rules plays itself out. Didn’t work out too well for her did it?

    Nudie pictures / “I’ll show you mine if you show me yours” should precede actual fucking by a few years

    You are equating things that I don’t think should be equal. The reasons why should be pretty obvious.

    Uncle Max
    I can guarantee most of these cases are impulsive acts of somebody showing off for their girlfriend or boyfriend,

    Ummm, dh…. That’s what I’ve been saying, poor impulse control combined with very bad judgment. Digital media is forever. Innocent sexual exploration is not. The differences between the two are enormous.

    jackie31337
    That is by no means universally true. Sexual abuse definitely results in all kinds of psychological fallout, but there is no one predictable pattern to it.

    Of course, of course. I have been very careful not to universalize and have put qualifiers in my sentences. Like I said, this behavior is a red flag.

    Th prblm s tht sm ppl dn’t lk t hr th wrd n. ‘v sd n twc ltly. N t brtl sdstc f*ck wh dsrvs t brn n th lwst rngs f hll nd n t 15 yr lds pssng rnd nd pcs f thmslvs wth n thgh f hw tht wll mpct thm n th ftr.

  69. zuzu says:

    Secret_Life_Of_Plants, slow down cowboy… the vast majority of men are still trying to reconcile whether trying to suck their own dicks “makes them gay” or if it’s just masturbation.

    I can speak for every guy here in this room tonight. Guys, if you could blow yourselves, ladies, you’d be in this room alone right now… watching an empty stage.

    – Bill Hicks

  70. noen says:

    zuzu
    Child? That’s a stretch.

    Yes, child, juvenile, whatever. Not an adult and possessing an immature adolescent brain. Brain research has shown that adolescent minds are profoundly different than those of adults. They lack judgment and are incapable of understanding the consequences of their behavior. This girl clearly does not understand what she has done. I feel sorry for her.

    “Nature has long since sexualized her.”
    “150 years ago she’d already be married an having kids.”
    “His name is Puberty.”

    Children who have been sexually abused in some way are said to have been sexualized and that is how I was using the word. Their behavior is sexually precocious, abnormal. It’s different than normal sex play. Call me crazy if you like but I think that passing sexual photos of yourself around to all your friends, at 15, is not normal. And if it’s becoming a statistical norm it’s not healthy. Cameras have been around a long time. This isn’t normal. Trust me on this, there is more going on here than we know. Any forensic psychologist would think: “foster child, sexually acting out, hmmmm… I’d like to speak to her.”

    About Ohio’s Megan’s Law:
    “What we’re aiming at was a growing problem that we were seeing amongst juveniles and that was they were committing some very serious adult-like crimes,”

    The law was clearly badly written but it is in response a very real problem. I also have this growing sense that “the kids aren’t alright”. Part of my response springs from that. It would be interesting to know what those adult-like crimes are. I bet a lot of those giggling here would change their tune if they knew.

    You know, you can breed any animal when it reaches sexual maturity. I think that as humans we should expect a bit more of ourselves.

  71. sirkowski says:

    Pics or it didn’t happen.

  72. jackie31337 says:

    Uncle_Max @12: “When the police were notified, they sent letters out to those they knew had received the pictures….”

    I realize I’m not getting the full story here, but the idea of the police having a list of people they knew had received the pictures just sets off a major red flag for me.

    • Anonymous says:

      More recent (and relevant) brain research indicates that the human brain is not actually fully formed until the age of 25 years. By your logic everyone 24 and under is a sexual deviant.

  73. Takuan says:

    while it is indeed true that fifteen year olds sharing nude photographs may socially regret that choice later, it remains that fifteen years olds in their own moment and space are innocent, normal and clean. It is our observation that defiles their innocence.

  74. HollywoodBob says:

    It’s a really pathetic world we live in where a 16 year old couple could get married (with parental permission) make a sex tape and go to jail as child porn producers.

  75. Takuan says:

    almost as if the fundamentalist religious police ran the government…

  76. eti says:

    I probably shouldn’t admit this, but once when I was a child I saw myself naked.

  77. Takuan says:

    they would have beaten the information out of the various involved as they went. By no means a complete list.

  78. Takuan says:

    if you gouge out your eyes and castrate yourself, we’ll overlook it.

  79. Willie McBride says:

    Cameras have been around a long time. This isn’t normal.

    Camera have been around a long time but until 10 years ago (maybe less) taking a picture of your penis or boobs meant that, unless you had a darkroom and the ability to process color film, a third person would look at your penis or boobs.
    Now you can do all by yourself.

    (And by the way, at 15 I had a very clear understanding of the mechanicals of sex and I was more than able to appreciate a naked female body. It is true that, alas, it was only theoretical knowledge but I was very willing to address this deficiency as soon as possible.)

  80. oshkosh says:

    These are the sorts of things that happen when you have overly-aggressive prosecutors who are out to make a “name” for themselves. (See how uber-aggressive I am?). It trashes people for the sake of the prosecutors’ livelihoods and re-election.

  81. bobhughes says:

    @68 zuzu

    no, 15 isn;t a normal age

    Just because you’re proud of losing your virginity at a young age doesn’t make it normal. Sort it out for yourself instead of trying to project your feelings on someone else’s reality. I detect some repressed shame in your constant revisiting this event in your life.

    I am a big Aeon Flux fan, having seen all of the LTV shorts as well as the standalone series. No, they are not normal people. And they do not have normal sex lives (except by your own whimsical interpretation of “normal”, which is also not normal according to DSM-IV (not my opinion))

  82. sumi says:

    @17–

    “pTjaTja 14: What-the-heck!? What POSSIBLE reasons could they be allowing foster parents and guardians to be taking pictures of their naked children?

    “To document bruises inflicted by a foster child’s natural parents” springs to mind. Just for one.

    Generally, children who are thought to have come from an abusive home are given an exam before being brought to a foster family. And in the case of having had a visit with a/the birth parent/s, I think you’d find that responsible foster parents would inform social services of any injuries immediately, and they would be the ones taking any photographs.

  83. buddy66 says:

    “anyone possessing material that shows a minor in a state of nudity is guilty of a fifth-degree felony”

    I’m gonna call the cops on my mom.

    • Antinous says:

      “anyone possessing material that shows a minor in a state of nudity is guilty of a fifth-degree felony” I’m gonna call the cops on my mom.

      Fortunately, my nude high school pics are etched in mammoth poo with a sabertooth.

  84. Kyle Armbruster says:

    @Noen:

    Don’t be silly.

    That being said, I suspect she might be a little strange in the head. She is, after all, a foster kid. But we don’t know, and therefore have to give the benefit of the doubt.

    As for “not understanding consequences,” I’m right there with you. I feel physically ill EVERY TIME a minor is charged as an adult. They just plain never thought about what was going to happen. In this case, however, why in Ah-Pook’s sweet name would she EVER expect there to be CRIMINAL consequences for taking pictures… OF HERSELF?

    This is truly preposterous.

  85. noen says:

    Sorry but there is something wrong here. The first question that came to my mind was “Who sexualized this child?” What this girl did shouldn’t be criminalized but it isn’t healthy behavior either. This is a red flag, there is something else going on.

  86. mikelotus says:

    there is nothing wrong with nudity. it is legal to be nude on the beach in more counties than i dare count. this is silly american prudishness at its worse. grow up and see the world people or at least watch at$t commercials about beaches in spain.

  87. Anonymous says:

    law says: anyone possessing material that shows a minor in a state of nudity is guilty of a fifth-degree felony. What about the kids that received those pictures, they are “possessing material that shows a minor(nude)is guilty” will they be prosecuted too???
    Additionally if im a 15 yo girl and I take pictures of myself naked and send them to you, WHO KNOWS???? How come it became public…. if my parents (natural or foster) realized on what i did, i dont think they go to the police… if by the other side the parents of the “recipients” saw the pictures of the “producer, direcor and actress of ‘child pornography’” (saecasm) I dont think either they have had go to the police….

    Many, many kids 15-16 or even younger theese days do the same, take pictures or videos of themselves naked or masturbating or even more having “virtual sex” by internet.

    As a user said before theese are different times and parents should be more aware of what their kids do… above all in the internet….

  88. Teresa Nielsen Hayden / Moderator says:

    When I was a teenager, it would never have occurred to me to take nude photos of myself, much less circulate them. It’s the latter I’d have found appalling; once they’re out there, you have no control.

    Zuzu, Noen: you’re free to get up each other’s noses, but I want you both to tone down the language in which you’re doing it.

    Buddy66 @33, the twist in logic took me by surprise, and made me I laugh so hard I nearly did myself an injury.

    Crash1105 @61, please don’t use all-caps.

  89. Kay the Complainer says:

    Actually, Bob, in Canada the average age of loss of virginity is 16.5. Not so far off of 15, no?

    See: http://www.sexualityandu.ca/teachers/data-1.aspx

    Also 21% of kids in Grade 9 (aged 14) have had sex at least once.

    (I believe in the US the average age is 14.9, regardless of abstinence-only education, but I couldn’t find a reference.)

    does this remind anyone of the Star Simpson debacle? A perhaps not-very-wise action on the part of a young woman who gets stomped on by all the powers of the law?

  90. buddy66 says:

    #83 Takuan:

    nothing like nudity to cure an obsession with nudity.

    That’s the damn truth. After spending much of a summer at a nude beach I even lost interest in myself.

  91. SamF says:

    I get more and more criminal every day. I took pictures of my 16-year-old girlfriend naked 20 years ago (I was 17). Of course, I worked at a photo lab, so I developed them myself and didn’t show them to anyone. But based on this law, I was a criminal. We used condoms AND the pill, and after we broke up I destroyed the pictures instead of using them against her.

    So, yeah, somehow when you turn 18 you suddenly become more mature and responsible. I’ve never heard of anyone over 18 having a child out of wedlock or doing anything inappropriate with nude photos of themselves or anyone else. I say throw her in a cell with Max Hardcore to teach her a lesson!

  92. buddy66 says:

    #6 CREESTO,

    I am a very healthy mid-life adult with a more than healthy sexual appetite (avg. roughly .8 occurences of sex per day)….

    Maybe not too healthy: that many years of coitus interuptus can’t be good for you.

  93. crash1105 says:

    THIS LAW IS DUMB POORLY WRITTEN AND PROBABLY NEEDS TO BE CHANGED
    @NOEN
    Have you been around children now days some pregnant at 12-13 years old. Hollywood sexualized these kids shows like the real world movies on HBO Showtime but then again puberty and sexuality go hand in hand. By the way I was 15 when I lost my virginity so what’s wrong with this picture is not who sexualized this child puberty did society did. So the question is what’s wrong with the law and our government. These children see this on television and are emulating what they see.
    You can also tell me all you want that cameras haves been around for a long time but you had to have the photos developed when I was young you couldn’t just take and send a photo there was another person in the loop who could report the photos or not develop them. this is a different time and loose morals on television mainly MTV show these kids its alright to sleep around its alright to do these things. But in reality its the parents who don’t watch what their kids watch.
    I blame society and parents but mostly MTV

  94. DougDante says:

    Similarly:

    A 13 year old boy is in facing felony charges in Texas after a classmate of his took a picture of herself in the nude and sent it to him. Apparently, she sent nude pictures to many of the boys at her school.

    http://www.khou.com/news/state/stories/khou081008_ar_porntext.f31234e3.html

    The law needs to better distinguish between dumb behavior and criminal behavior among children.

  95. buddy66 says:

    I always liked the In taberna quando sumus section.

  96. David Giacalone says:

    If she’s labeled a sex offender, in Ohio and many other states, she won’t be able to hand out candy or decorate her home on Halloween (and probably not go trick-or-treating either). See
    http://tinyurl.com/HalloweenSexOffenderLaws

  97. Takuan says:

    figures (hic!)

  98. Takuan says:

    if nothing else good comes of this thread, let just the remonstration be to parents to educate and train their children in the wise of net-self and meat-self. It is a new time and new ways are needed.
    Folk ways taught the power of True Names and the need to burn hair clippings and nail parings lest they fall in the hands of hostile shamans. Nothing has changed.

  99. Anonymous says:

    Goes to show how inconceivable it was to them that one of those “anyones” would be a minor showing off photos of herself to her friends.

    It’s constantly horrifying to people that we have to thoroughly define words like “anyone” – and incidents like this prove that I think. We’re all resisting it on some level.

  100. Baldhead says:

    Crash- ummm learn sentence structure a bit before posting. That looked only slightly more comprehensible than a William Burroughs Cut- up.

    Not understanding the consequences? probably true. But As has been said, being charged criminally for taking photos of yourself wasn’t likely on her mind.

    And the fact of digital cameras is definitely a factor. Hence the recent proliferation of amateur porn sites. That stuff wasn’t there five years ago… hey around the time that digital cameras took over from film! (ever tried to buy a film camera lately? Not a throw- away?)

  101. Anonymous says:

    The first question that came to my mind was “Who sexualized this child?”

    So my first question is, what odd sort of 15 year old were you?

  102. reech says:

    “State Rep. Jay Hottinger, R-Newark, wrote the state’s Megan’s Law bill, the predecessor of the Adam Walsh Act, and said this case was not something the legislature envisioned.”

    Perhaps first legal logic-bomb, definitely not the last.

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