"Child" charged for "child porn" - of self

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Spotted in Mike Sugimoto's blog - a 15-year-old near Pittsburgh is being charged with sexual abuse of children, possession of child pornography, and dissemination of child pornography, for distributing photos of herself "in various states of undress and performing a variety of sexual acts".  I wonder how wide a "variety of sexual acts" is actually possible given that she was the only person in the pictures, and here was me thinking the term "self-abuse" had fallen out of fashion in the middle of last century, but those are minor issues.

We should not be surprised by this story because it's perfectly rational:  if possession or distribution of child pornography is a crime, it's bad, and anyone who does it has to be punished, mmmkay?  Since the prohibition of child pornography is claimed to be justified on the grounds that the mere existence of this material is a threat to society, then it doesn't matter where the material came from or whether any actual abuse was committed in its creation - it has to be banned regardless of source.  The "sexual abuse of children" charge sounds questionable because one can't ordinarily commit a punishable crime against oneself, but I don't see how they could fail to enforce the other two and stay consistent with the rest of the regulatory regime.

["Child" charged for "child porn" - of self]

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Comments

Brian from 217.74.218.254 at Thu, 31 May 2007 10:38:56 +0000:
When I read this story and others like it from the other side of the atlantic it looks like an expression of how far the american society has sunk into hysterical, paranoid self abuse. Just the sort of mental hell hole which you are trying to get out of by pulling us all in. Primerally by starting wars which you then expect us to join in.

Matthew Skala from 67.158.75.219 at Thu, 31 May 2007 12:20:48 +0000:
Be careful where you point that thing. This is a Canadian Web site and the events described happened in the USA. Child sex paranoia is bad here too, but not quite as bad as South of the border. Canada also hasn't started any wars recently, though we did, shamefully, get dragged into the US debacle in Afghanistan.

Work_Ethic from 24.97.227.120 at Mon, 18 Jun 2007 07:21:44 +0000:
Heh- and Afganistan was suppose to be the "good" war....

So, are the Canadians taking applications for, like, Citizenship......

Matthew Skala from 216.75.189.154 at Mon, 18 Jun 2007 12:48:59 +0000:
Every war was supposed to be the "good" war...

Kaytie from 129.97.42.65 at Thu, 09 Aug 2007 18:00:17 +0000:
I believe in Canada it's legal to produce and hold such photos -- but not distribute. No, I don't have a source handy... sorry.

Matthew Skala from 129.97.74.80 at Thu, 09 Aug 2007 18:51:35 +0000:
Kaytie - I think you're thinking of the Supreme Court decision in R. v. Sharpe, which created some very limited exceptions. That decision has been largely superceded by new legislation designed to "close the loopholes" created by the decision (in the words of the people pushing the legislation). I'm not sure the current status of the photos-of-oneself situation.

Francky from 77.94.32.32 at Thu, 27 Dec 2007 15:47:51 +0000:
I'm just glad i don't leave in america... cause there sooo stupid, much more than in my countery, but there stupid here too ( well i think everywere). ^^ What with the paranoia here? She does what she want. That's all. If she is not abused by someone else but does it all by herself, what with the commotion? That disgust me this intolerance for nudity, sexual act etc... if the person is consantant, even if the person is a "child" or a "teen" it doesn't matter... if she know what she's doing ( Yeah, i just read the kodomo no jikan article also.)


PS: sorry for my bad english.

Zetsubou from 74.197.74.21 at Tue, 05 Aug 2008 01:46:51 +0000:
Most non-Americans are so quick to blame America for the wars in Iraq and Afganistan. But they have no idea what is actually going on inside the minds of most Americans. I didn't start a war. My family didn't start a war, and my friends didn't start a war. It wasn't America that started the war, it was the Bush Administration. I love my country, but I hate my government. And Francky, you're a moron for making a blanket statement such as saying Americans are "sooo stupid" and then not saying where you're from.

With all that said, I believe it is sad that our society has degrated to a point where we feel the need to charge teenagers with abuse of themselves. If she had cut her arms and legs, she wouldn't have been charged with self assualt. At worst, she would have been put in counseling, which I believe would have been an appropriate "punishment" for this "offense." She obviously knew what she was doing, and did it of her own free will. No one stripped her naked and took pics of her. It wasn't a hidden camera in a changing room. It probabally wasn't the best decision she could have made, but it certainly wasn't abuse. Save the criminal charges for those who downloaded and redistributed it.

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