Third Circuit to consider whether “sexting” violates child porn laws

By J. DeVoy

In the first case of its kind to make it to a Federal Circuit Court, Law.com reports that justices were “skeptical” as to whether sexting broke Federal child pornography laws.  While sexting entails variety of things, this case deals specifically with images minors take of themselves with phones and distribute to others.

The facts of this case, however, seem mild and may not result in settled precedent.

“If you had probable cause here, you’d have a different case, but all you’ve got is a picture of somebody partially naked and two years later it turns up on somebody’s cell phone at school,” Stapleton said.

Donohue said the school’s investigation showed that the plaintiff and 20 other girls had transmitted such images to their classmates, and that “the boys, as they are wont to do, were trading the pictures among themselves.

Might there be some gender motive here?  I imagine the situation would be different if this case was about evil boys showing their naughty parts to angelic, pure-as-snow tween girls.

Ambro wasn’t satisfied and asked: “Should we allow the state to force children, by threatening them with prosecution, to attend education programs expounding a particular government official’s views of what it means to be a girl in today’s society?”

More didactic gender politics.  The 3d Cir. should hold this isn’t child porn to save younger generations from this kind of rhetoric.  This is to say nothing of the way a child pornography conviction would ruin their lives — nobody really thinks that condemning horny but otherwise productive kids to lives as registered sex offenders is a good thing… do they?  Parents can buy their children phones without cameras or not activate services that allow the sharing of images if there’s so much concern over the problem.  It even seems that exchanging photos would be preferable to actual sex, in light of rising STD rates among teens.

3 Responses to Third Circuit to consider whether “sexting” violates child porn laws

  1. Sean F. says:

    The photos are obviously voluntary if ill-advised. The fact that this even made it to court makes me worry about the future.

  2. […] in bras and underwear.  You can read our anti-gender-bias coverage of the oral arguments here.  In upholding the preliminary injunction requested by the girls’ parents, the Third has […]

  3. […] You can read the infamous J. DeVoy’s anti-gender-bias coverage of the oral arguments here.  In upholding the preliminary injunction requested by the girls’ parents, the Third has […]

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