I Can’t Wait To See This One On Law & Order 

Thursday, July 10th, 2014

A 17-year-old teenager in Virginia is in trouble with the law, after he sent his 15-year-old girlfriend a video of his penis. Naturally, authorities have obtained a warrant to photograph the defendant’s penis. What? Why should that be a problem? It’s not as though America has a constitutional amendment prohibiting unreasonable searches and seizures.

What’s that? Oh? Uh-huh. Uh-huh. I see. Ok, thank you.

I’m sorry, folks. I’m being told we do have a Constitutional amendment prohibiting unreasonable searches and seizures. Strange.

Well, just in case you’re keeping score, here’s how things currently stand:

Illegal

  • Exchanging sexual images to an apparently-willing partner1, if you’re both under 18. This is a felony for “manufacturing and distributing child pornography”.

Legal

  • Forcing a minor to get an erection, then photographing it. This is apparently not an unreasonable search, nor “manufacturing child pornography”.

I don’t have detailed knowledge of the facts here.2 However, even a cursory glance seems to show excessive charges and potential penalties, along with a proposed police procedure that appears at the least to be both invasive and unreasonable.


Update (July 11th, 2014): It appears the police have backed down, following global outcry.


Footnotes:

  1. According to reports, this began when the 15-year-old girl sent photos of herself to the defendant, and the girl’s mother filed the complaint, not the girl herself. ↩︎

  2. I do note that the 15-year-old girl has not been charged in any way. It’s not clear whether this is due to her age, her gender, or some other factor. ↩︎


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