Every time I think I’ve seen the limit on how screwed up this country is about sex, we retop ourselves. Case in point (via the Agitator):
On March 25, 2004, Amber and Jeremy took digital photos of themselves naked and engaged in unspecified “sexual behavior.” The two sent the photos from a computer at Amber’s house to Jeremy’s personal e-mail address. Neither teen showed the photographs to anyone else.
Court records don’t say exactly what happened next–perhaps the parents wanted to end the relationship and raised the alarm–but somehow Florida police learned about the photos.
Amber and Jeremy were arrested. Each was charged with producing, directing or promoting a photograph featuring the sexual conduct of a child. Based on the contents of his e-mail account, Jeremy was charged with an extra count of possession of child pornography.
So for that, they will for the rest of their lives be registered sex offenders. (Or maybe not – see comments.)
Amber appealed, claiming that this application of an anti-child-pornography law to her taking private photos of a perfectly legal encounter with her boyfriend violated her right to privacy (which is guaranteed in the Florida constitution). Earlier this month, a Florida Appeals Court ruled against Amber. The majority decision, written by Judge James Wolf, hinged on whether or not Amber could have had a reasonable expectation of privacy when she emailed the pictures to Jeremy’s personal email address. According to Wolf, she could not have had any such reasonable expectation of privacy, because maybe she or Jeremy would have decided to show them to other people at some point in the future, and anyway the internet can be hacked.
No, really. That was his reasoning. And that’s not even the stupid part.
Here’s the stupid part: Judge Wolf argues that the conviction must be upheld so that Amber and Jeremy can be spared trauma and smeared reputations.
Appellant was simply too young to make an intelligent decision about engaging in sexual conduct and memorializing it. Mere production of these videos or pictures may also result in psychological trauma to the teenagers involved.
Further, if these pictures are ultimately released, future damage may be done to these minor’s careers or personal lives.
Try to grasp the jaw-dropping illogic in all its nonsensical glory:
1) Amber is “simply too young to make an intelligent decision.” But she’s not too young to be a held responsible for the crime of child pornography.
2) The state must prosecute Amber in order to protect her from psychological trauma. Because being tried and found guilty of a sex crime is obviously the least traumatic option for Amber here.
3) If the pictures were someday released, that might have hurt Amber and Jeremy’s careers or personal lives. So instead the court permanently brands them as convicted sex offenders, which in no way could potentially harm their careers and relationships in the future.
(Curtsy: Julian Sanchez.)