Sex

Ruining Kids To Save Them, Ct'd…

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My crime column this week looked at the monumentally stupid trend of prosecuting minors who send one another nude photos with child pornography.

Right on cue, Porter County, Indiana, County Prosecutor Brian Gensel has charged a girl, 12, and boy, 13, with child exploitation and possession of felony child pornography for sending one another nude photos via cell phone.

This quote from a child psychiatrist is telling:

"On one level (sending nude pictures) is safer than physical intimacy … but on another level it is taking a risk and being taken advantage of that has a level of shame that is striking," Kraus said.

There's definitely some exploitation of and taking advantage of children going on, here. But it isn't being done by the kids.

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  1. Leave it to a politician to miss the irony of charging people with exploiting themselves.

  2. This quote from a child psychiatrist is telling:

    “On one level (sending nude pictures) is safer than physical intimacy ? but on another level it is taking a risk and being taken advantage of that has a level of shame that is striking,” Kraus said.

    ?

    I can’t make sense of it.

    More generally, things never seem to change:
    1960s: “We had to destroy the village in order to save it.”
    2010s: “We had to destroy the children in order to save them.”

    1. 1960s: “We had to destroy the village in order to save it.”
      2010s: “We had to destroy the children in order to save them.”

      That first one was made up by a sensationalist reporter caught more lies later.

      The second one is by a real reporter who has no trouble finding interesting things to write about while still being honest.

  3. WTF? Why can’t the posters name appear on the post when it posts?

  4. This is my home town. I was considering mentioning it in the Morning Links yesterday.

    Here is the version from the local paper.

    Anyone know about the Ohio program they mention? That sounds a bit more sane.

    1. How about the teacher just gives the phone to the parents and let them handle it. Too sane?

      1. way too rational for professional Teachers and Administrators. The police must be involved since obviously a criminal act has taken place.

        1. Don’t forget union rules.

          1. I try to all the time.

      2. I have to say that I heard of a situation in (I think) New Berlin Wisconsin where a teen boy was using these sext pictures to blackmail other boys into having sex with him so… I’d say teachers are justified in assuming that something needs to be done when they find these things. It’s prosecutors and law enforcement who should use discretion in deciding how they want to apply the law in these situations.

        1. http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/34533379/

          citation for the New Berlin story.
          It was through facebook not sexting, but the point is that teachers should probably report things to proper authorities rather than just saying, “Oh, kids will be kids.” It’s the proper authorities who need to use some judgment.

          1. Why are the proper authorities in cases like this not the parents?

    2. Grew up in Chesterton myself. I was wondering if anyone else made it out.

      1. Just moved from Lake County, was hoping for an improvement.

  5. I don’t support the use of violence as a means of bringing about positive change, but stories like these give me pause.

    1. My thoughts exactly.

    2. I’m surprised there aren’t more dead prosecutors (and child psychologists).

      Shouldn’t ignorance of the law be a valid defense for anyone young enough to not be eligible to take a driving test?

      1. Shouldn’t ignorance of the law be a valid defense for anyone young enough to not be eligible to take a driving test?

        Interesting thought that hadn’t occurred to me. At the very least, there’s no way you should charge kids with felonies in these sort of situations (non-violent “crimes”, first offenses, etc.).

        1. Sex offender registries can be very problematic. If these kids don’t get into college or do but can’t get financial aid as a result of their harmless actions, justice has definitely been overly harsh to them.

          One positive I see, is they may be libertarians as a result of this government overreaction.

          1. They’ll be libertarians, but they won’t be able to vote, because they’re felons.

            CB

        2. But it’s SEX and KIDS, Art, don’t you understand how fucking freaked out that makes grown-ups? They can’t even think straight when those two words appear in the same sentence. Obviously you have to make some examples, crack some eggs… y’know?!

      2. Ignorance of the law is an acceptable defense only if you are law enforcement.

        1. Ignorance of the law is an acceptable defense only if you are law enforcement.
          Or a congresscritter.

      3. I’m surprised there aren’t more dead prosecutors (and child psychologists).

        If the ritual stanic child molestation scares didn’t do it (how many kids did those witch hunts fuck up?) I don’t know what will.

        1. Well, they at least had some very lame excuse of attempting to save the children – not like this where the children must be locked up and stigmatized for life BY the state.

  6. Attention server squirrel: Author name is missing from this article.

  7. Its a Radley Balko article. Can’t you tell from the rage it inspires?

  8. Right on cue, Porter County, Indiana, County Prosecutor Brian Gensel has charged a girl, 12, and boy, 13, with child exploitation and possession of felony child pornography for sending one another nude photos via cell phone.

    Well, don’t you fools understand that the children belong to the State?

  9. C’mon you guys, its obviously Balko. Who else can so consistently deliver depressing news like jr high kids being charged with felonies for hurting no one but (potentially) themselves?

    Also, he wrote the aforementioned article.

  10. Exploitation implies that one party had a larger responsibility than the other to do the right thing. You can’t charge both parties with exploitation. Also, charging minors with possesion of age appropriate pornography is… insane. The whole point of these laws is that adults and children have different levels of societal responsibility. Charging children with crimes that necessarily involve an adult perpetrator is crazy.

  11. From time to time I have heard about a concept called “prosecutorial discretion.” Is this a myth? Are prosecutors really obligated to bring charges in every single crime that comes to their attention, no matter how stupid it may look?

    1. “””prosecutorial discretion.” Is this a myth? “”

      No, you are seeing it in action.

      When the topic is hot, such as sexting, their discrestion is ruled by attack mode. Hey you gotta show the people you care and are willing to do something to curb the issue du jour.

    2. No, I believe the term you heard about was “prostitutional discretion” – there are some things even an honest whore won’t touch.

  12. I want to see one of these fucking prosecutors get charged by a federal prosecutor with malicious prosecution. Because doing this is utterly malicious.

    1. Or child exploitation!

  13. What is going on in Prosecutors heads? Seriously. I can understand defending an obviously wrong prosecution, because admitting your own mistakes is hard. But what weird source of logic allows one to say, ‘Yeah this kid was just flirting with another kid, but tarring them (possibly for life) with sex offender status will do something positive for society.’ What the fuck is wrong with these people?

    1. They’re bitter and jealous that all the (cue old person voice) kids these days are getting all this action that they didn’t get as a kid. Of course, it’s totally untrue (there’s really not much going on in any generation), but that doesn’t deter them from punishing these kids “for their own good”.

      1. I think these kids should be tried as adults (their adult version of themselves having exploited the child version)and sent to prison where they can be well and truly exploited by actual adults. Yeah, that’ll teach ’em!!

    2. I think it is to make an example of them to prevent other children from doing this. This is a very dangerous trend, I don’t think the children realize the harm that can come from this, what if the picture gets out and some pervert sees it. They would then be harmed for life.

      Also, despite being minors, they still have to obey the law. The pictures are illegal, and they are the perpetrators so they can be charged.

      1. Jane’s comment is a spoof troll, right?

        1. What’s Jane in Spanish? Juanita. Think about it.

        2. I’m surprised there aren’t more dead spoof trolls. I think Jane is one and I still want to punch her in the face.

          1. It is just sarcasm.

            1. See, everyone, self preservation can be a strong motivator. Maybe we need to hang a prosecutor once in a while.

            2. Jane,

              Welcome to the font of erudition that is H&R. It will take the regulars here a while to accept that you’re being sarcastic, and aren’t just a random troll, so please consider using pseudo-tags “/sarcasm” until your probationary period is up.

              Also, there was a troll who posted as Juanita here for many years; this troll argued from a position similar to that which you affected.

              Wilkommen! Bienvenue! Welkom!

      2. I hope this is snark.

      3. Jane, you don’t go far enough. Children should not be allowed to be photographed at all. It steals your soul, you know.

      4. Jane,

        Welcome to the lunch room that many of the boys don’t like girls entering.

        If you haven’t been lurking here there are some rituals.

        First, anything a newbie/stranger says must be (will be taken as) literal and their true belief. Regulars are different.

        Any criticism of Obama is to be replied to as “Racist!” by the first person who notices and remembers to post the comment. Usually it is sarcastic, unless it is from one of the actual trolls like Tony or MNG.

        Threaded comments are fair game to complain about as long as there is still one threaded comment protester left (Pro L? P Brooks? Lots of Ps around here, John’s too).

        You don’t have to brush up on your Sci-Fi. SugarFree, Epi and Naga will do a complete history of Sci-Fi any day now. If you miss that one, they will do it again the next day.

        There are many more but this should get you started.

        1. Not true, Suki. We like it when the girls come in. We’re just assholes to everybody.

          Why don’t libertarians enjoy more electoral success, again?

          1. All of the charm of the feminist movement with the coordination of a headless chicken.

            1. FOR.THE.WIN!

        2. My opposition hasn’t wavered one iota. This abomination must go!

          1. Hey! I jumped the Obamanation ship almost a year ago! And if you stopped hating on girls maybe your Super Bowl ad would not be rejected.

    3. Billy,

      It is a show of power. The prosecutors want to prosecute because they feel they can and receive a high from wielding this power.

      1. No. The prosecutor just needs an excuse to take frequent looks at the, um, er, evidence. If he dismisses the case, he has to stop looking.

    4. “But what weird source of logic allows one to say, ‘Yeah this kid was just flirting with another kid, but tarring them (possibly for life) with sex offender status will do something positive for society.'”

      You are erroneously assuming most prosecutors with to do something positive for society.

      1. with wish

  14. Kids can sometime be rebellious in large numbers when one of their own is wronged by adults. I could see the whole student body of their school engaging in the offensive act just to wake people the fuck up.

    1. All over the land
      The kids are finally startin’ to get the upper hand.
      They’re out in the streets, they turn on the heat
      And soon they could be completely in command.
      Imagine the sensation of teenage occupation –
      At thirteen they’ll be learning
      But at fourteen they’ll be burnin’
      But there’s something in the air
      Of which we all will be aware
      But they don’t care, no, no, no, no… so –

      Come joing the revolution
      Get yourself a constitution
      Come join the revolution now!

      And recognize your age,
      it’s a teenage rampage
      Turn another page
      on the teenage rampage now!

  15. Here’s another rage-inducing quote from the psychiatrist:

    Boys sext because they’re proud of their new, more mature bodies, while girls sext because a boy asks them to, he said. Girls want to develop the relationship and think sexting will help, Kraus said. But he warns that’s no different than a girl who might be pressured into sex before she’s ready.

    This is lovely. So not only do girls have no legitimate sexuality of their own, but 13 year old boys are now evil, proto-rapists.

    I can’t tell who he hates more, males or females. Or just sex in general.

    1. Himself, of course. That’s who he hates most.

      1. It’s just such a frustratingly simplistic view of human behavior. Boys are sexual because they are aggressive exploiters. Girls are chaste victims. Let’s go a-prosecutin’!

        1. But he charges the girls anyways!

        2. Dagny you raise an interesting and valid point. This situation highlights several troubling issues, such as the inability for boys to possess self-control or girls to have any agency with regard to their sexuality.

          It also robs people (children in this case) of the idea that they are the agents of their own lives.

          The two sides being argued are moronic: one, the kids have no idea what they are doing is wrong because they can’t handle sexuality (no agency) so we much punish them for daring to embrace agency and continue beating it into them that they are dirty perverts who must constantly grovel under the boot of authority.

          1. It also feeds into the very limiting and limited view of women as victims that you’ll often see on boards like Feministing and Jezebel. The very people most vocally concerned with “protecting” women deny them the agency to protect themselves and seek to limit the array of acceptable choices available to them.

            1. The internalized misogyny is strong in this one.

        3. Not to pile on the simplistic explanations, but here’s mine:

          1. Teenagers are horny little beasts
          2. Teenagers, lacking the control and experience of adults, generally don’t project the consequences of their actions for more than a few moments into the future.
          3. Naked pictures are fun. Naked pictures of girls/boys you know are even more fun.

          1. 1. Inadequate parental input and supervision

            1. You actually know teenagers who do everything their parents tell them to do, and do nothing that they tell them not to do?

              Teenagers, by and large, are idiots. They can be book-smart as hell and some even responsible as an adult too, but they *all* do extraordinarily stupid things, sooner or later.

              Then again, so do most adults. But, they know better by then.

              1. They should know better, JW. I have an entire factory floor of examples I can introduce you to that obviously don’t.

              2. This reminds me of when I was in high school (wasn’t that long ago either) and I remember being told its better to fuck up then than in college because your record gets expunged when you turn 18. I guess that has changed. Obey!

  16. What get’s me is how they keep talking like it’s these kid’s fault that someone might someday look at these pictures and masturbate. Criminals, I tell ya!

    1. Actually, I think this kind of prosecuter gets off on the joy of messing up people’s lives.

      1. That and the long nights he has to spend studying he evidence.

      2. Yeah, it’s prosecution porn! No bigger turn on in the world for certain types.

  17. possession of felony child pornography for sending one another nude photos via cell phone

    So, a kid sending another the message “I’d like to do it with you” should be *at least* a misdemeanor, right?

    1. Or at least a stern conversation by their parents about the real life consequences of sex and how much less free time you have once baby comes.

      1. Well, OK, … *if* it’s a scripted “stern conversation” mandated by the state. šŸ˜‰

  18. [the hiss and whir of a film strip beginning]

    The human animal is completely sexless and without sexual desire until 12:01am of their 18th birthday. This auspicious and totally non-arbitrary time begins a complex chemical cascade that creates and shapes the genitals of both the male and the female and imparts both sexual desire and a complete knowledge of both the mechanics and emotional issues around sex. Also, like the mighty salmon can return to its spawning grounds, the 18-year-old just innately knows how to prevent pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases.

    Free now in a world where their sexually is acknowledged to exist, the newly created sexual being will patiently wait until after college to pursue a romantic partner. After a chaste and brief dating, period the man and woman marry and begin to engage in sexual intercourse solely for the purposes of reproduction. And occasionally the man’s birthday.

    [painfully white screen and florescents bubbling to life]

    1. The human animal is completely sexless and without sexual desire until 12:01am of their 18th birthday.

      16th bithday in KY (and most other states).

      1. You lie!

      2. I was trying to be inclusive. šŸ™‚

        1. Props, SugarFree. Well done.

        2. Sex with animals?!? There’s no time, man!

      3. Isn’t that only if they’re married, robc? Sexual desires would start when SF said, unless the knot were tied by clergy so God can grant “the feelings.”

    2. The human animal is completely sexless and without sex within a few short months after eating the first piece of its own wedding cake

      FIFY.

      1. Didn’t work for John Edwards or Tiger Woods.

        1. Uh – guess I gotta add a corollary or two to my rule…

    3. SF,

      Stargate props are going to the auction block.

    4. You forgot the warbling narration soundtrack and wholesome music.

      1. I’ll try to work it in.

    5. That was amazing.

    6. And occasionally the man’s birthday.

      Dammit THAT is steak and knobber day in this man’s house!

  19. This is not the way to teach children about the pitfalls of airing the hoo-ha out on film.

    I think so much of this is due to a “do something” culture that cries out for a committee to assess where the social breakdown occurred and what can be done to prevent it from ever, ever happening again. Re-education for all! More education for teachers, law enforcement, parents, and kids! [and the attendant need for govt largess to keep the train moving]

  20. Someone needs to introduce kids to Polaroid film (if it is still available). If you are going to take sex pics, make sure there is only one copy.

    Also, why are kids allowed to have phones in school at all? It must be a huge distraction. Fucking kids. Get off my lawn.

    1. If you are going to take sex pics, make sure there is only one copy.

      “I know they’d never match my sweet imagination”

    2. Zeb, they now have these newfangled scanners that hook up to your computer…

    3. Also, why are kids allowed to have phones in school at all? It must be a huge distraction.

      According to my sister, who’s been doing lots of substitute teaching lately, every class is basically a fight between the teacher and the students to get them to put away their cellphones.

  21. Isn’t it odd that if the 12 yr old girl and 13 yr old boy simply has sex rather than sent naked pics to each other, they wouldn’t be charged with any crime? At worst, she might be pregnant and he might get his ass kicked by her dad and maybe his, too, but no crime at all would be prosecuted. At best, nothing bad would happen and they’d probably do it again.

    1. Well, except that they probably wouldn’t get that far, because to them this is not much different from doing the “I’ll show you mine if you show me yours” in person. Which didn’t lead to sex at 12/13 for most people.

      1. Most.

        šŸ™‚

    2. You know that’s one thing that gets me. By the logic used here in this case and others, if these minors did have sex they should both be prosecuted for child molestation.

    3. Not only that, but I just realized that it’s legal for children to take pornographic pictures of adults and send them to each other.

  22. Imagine a 13 year old girl takes a picture of herself naked and sends it to her 14 year old boyfriend. She does it willingly and gets whatever thrill can be had out of doing it. Now, imagine the same girl sending the naked picture of herself to her 24 year old English teacher whom she is in love with. How is the second example any different than the first?

    If you admit that a 13 year old can lawfully consent to sex or sending naked pictures of her self with another 13 year old, it is hard to say she can’t do the same with an 20 year old.

    It is a real problem. And that is why the legal system is doing such crazy things in response to this. If they allow sexing among teenagers, it becomes very difficult to continue to enforce child pornography prohibition and the age of consent in general.

    1. How is the second example any different than the first?

      Well, even if the Englsh teacher had never sent the student a single e-mail or even talked to her one-on-one, he’s still totally screwed and might as well throw himself under a train right now.

      1. That is true. But I was speaking more hypothetically. I don’t see how the girl is any more or less “damaged” in either case. That of course leads to the very uncomfortable conclusion that maybe teenage girls ought to be able to sleep with whomeever they chose to subject to having to answer to their parents rather than the law; an opinion sure to get me burned at the stake for even contemplating.

        1. an opinion sure to get me burned at the stake for even contemplating.

          Waterboarded. It’s carbon neutral.

    2. Not hard at all. The 24 yo has an obligation to report the inappropriate behavior to her legal guardian, clearly signal that such behavior is inappropriate, request from the school that she be transferred to another english class, and delete the photo. How fucking hard is that? Behave like a responsible fucking adult.

      In the case where on party is a legal adult, they have an obligation to not exploit the perhaps natural but inappropriate behavior of someone who is not an adult. How hard is it comprehend the difference between a competent person of age and legal standing, and a ward who has the potential to be a competent person but is not yet? There’s a reason we make the distinction. So children don’t get held responsible for decisions they don’t have the experience to make. Just like we don’t let them sign legally binding liability waivers.

      1. I agree with you that he should delete the picture. But I don’t see where he has an obligation to turn her in, especially considering that doing so would in this environment send her to jail.

        Further, you completely miss the point of the analogy. If sending the picture to the 24 year old is so wrong and so potentially damaging that she must be immediately turned into her parents and the cops, why is sending the picture to the other 14 year old somehow so benign? Doesn’t the 14 year old have some obligation to run and tell his parents and delete the picture? If not, why not?

        1. “””But I don’t see where he has an obligation to turn her in,”””

          I agree the whole thing is bullshit, and should be handled very differently. But obligation can be different, by law, if your computer guy sees child porn on your computer he is obligated to turn you in. I wouldn’t be surprised if a federal law says everyone is obligated upon discovery.

          1. The law is at 42 USC 2552A. And surprisingly enough it does not create a duty to reprot the stuff. But it is a strict liability statute. It is very poorly written and makes any possession or distribution a crime. It doesn’t even contain a law enforcemetn exception. So, the mere fact of having it on your phone, even if you did not put it there, makes you guilty under the statute as written.

            1. After checking the Internet, I see the law I was referring to is being passed by states, not feds. I thought the feds had passed it too, but I’m probably wrong about that.

              http://www.ncsl.org/IssuesRese…..fault.aspx

            2. I should have read more of my own link. lol.

              “U.S. Code Title 42, Section 13032 requires those providing electronic communication services to make a report to the Cyber Tip Line at the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children. The laws don’t require technicians or service providers to search for the illegal material, only to report it if they find it.”

              Obligated upon discovery.

      2. Bryan,

        Not hard at all. The 24 yo has an obligation to report the inappropriate behavior to her legal guardian, clearly signal that such behavior is inappropriate, request from the school that she be transferred to another english class, and delete the photo. How fucking hard is that? Behave like a responsible fucking adult.

        First, the guy cannot erase the photo since that would amount to destroying evidence. If he reports this to the legal guardian, the legal guardian can perfectly use his statement to place the guy in jail and then sue him. The police can use the statute to hold him for “Possession of Child Pornography.”

        If a student was really keen on getting even with a teacher, that would be the best way to do it, because of the vagueness of the language in the statute. A person can be placed in a Catch-22 nightmare without even trying.

        It’s a sausage-making thing…

        1. That’s probably true. I don’t know how one gets around the point that what I suggest would require people to accept his testimony that it was completely unsolicited. Fair enough.

          The point I wanted to make that got lost in the rant was actually the 2nd paragraph. People who aren’t legal adults don’t have the same legal responsibilities (or freedoms) as those who are. This is true regardless of whether their status is due to age, retardation, injury, or senility.

        2. If a student was really keen on getting even with a teacher, that would be the best way to do it

          Aren’t there movies with plots like this?

          1. If my name was Butts Wagner, I’d sure as hell get it legally changed to something else. Something like Butts Johnson.

            1. If my name was the Gobbler, well, it’s a pretty awesome name.

      3. And to your analogy about signing binding contracts. You are correct, minors can’t sign contracts. But they can’t sign contracts with adults or other minors. We dont’ make a distinction and say the contract is okay as long as it is between two minors.

        In the case of sex we do. We say it is legal for children to have sex with each other, but it is illegal for them to have sex with adults. That seems to me to be a very odd logic. That works with children because they really don’t have the desire or the ability to have sex anyway. But with adolesents it is enormously problematic.

        This is not to say that I think that sleeping with teenagers is a good or moral idea. It is not. But I am having a hard time seeing how it is an issue for the law rather than parents.

        1. “”But I am having a hard time seeing how it is an issue for the law rather than parents.””

          Ditto.

          But hey, our overlords want to rule all aspects of our lives. It seems as if government will not be satisfied until they do the parenting too.

        2. We say it is legal for children to have sex with each other, but it is illegal for them to have sex with adults.

          In cases of consensual intercourse with adults, it is adults who are prosecuted.

          Dids you know that in some places in the past, like California, it was illegal for an underage boy to have consensual sex with an underage girl, but not for an underage girl to have sex with an underage boy? These type of laws were upheld against a Fourteenth Amendment challenge in Michael M. v. Superior Court .

      4. The 24 yo would be an idiot to do any of the things you mentioned, other than delete the photo. Doing any of them is an admission he possessed child porn, and in every child porn statute intention is not an element of the crime. Not only that, he would be foolishly assuming she wouldn’t lie about what happened once the authorites started talking to her about it.

        His best bet is to melt the phone to slag, replace it, and say nothing.

  23. Pretty soon we will be back to castrating boys to keep them from masturbating. It used to be done.

    1. It would prevent hairy palms, insanity, blindness and death.

      1. Some of us don’t want to prevent those symptoms.

  24. The brain isn’t fully developed until people reach their mid-20s, and that makes teens impulsive, Kraus said.

    Bullshit. I’m 38 and my brain is only now becoming fully developed.

  25. For the record, I did not charge these juveniles with anything. The police report has been forwarded to the juvenile probation department for review as per Indiana protocol. The probation department may, weeks from now recommend filing delinquency petitions or they may handle the matter informally. Common sense will be exercised in the disposition of this situation.

    1. If you are Mr. Gensel, common sense has already been thrown out the window.

      When I was in law school, first semester criminal law, I remember the professor lecturing about the effect of laws. In mentioning the Mann Act, she noted that historically, laws are used such that the people they are designed to protect are not prosecuted for violations. For example, a woman who went willingly across state lines with a man in violation of the Mann Act was not charged.

      If you truly did your duty as a prosecutor, you would have stepped in immediately and ended any role of the District Attorney’s office in this case.

    2. True, but you did say that what they did is distribution of child pornography. You could have said this is harmless on its face, despite the potential fapping by some sicko who eventually finds the material in question, but you didn’t.

      1. If from the same catagory of people who think passing a joint is distribution.

    3. If you are a decent human being you will move heaven and earth to see to it that the state does nothing to these kids.

    4. Regarding the comment from “Brian Gensel” posted at 2:50 PM.

      porterco dot org appears to be the website for Porter County, IN. The website appears fully populated with the sort of things you’d expect from a county government website. (Note: why do rinky-dink municipalities always squat on .com and .org websites when they can use the official .gov and .us domains which are reserved for them?)

      Clicking on the prosecutor link takes you to a web page showing a picture of a squinty looking fellow named Brian Gensler, who’s identified as prosecutor. The email address given is different from that used in the 2:05 post (both are the same domain, though), but it’s possible that he posted his personal address rather than his titular address.

      Never heard of a prosecutor responding to something like this. Interesting.

      1. “2:05” above was meant to be “2:50”

      2. Also from that site… I’ll submit this without comment.

        Law enforcement officers are routinely called upon to perform miracles and to do the impossible. At the scene of an automobile accident, they are expected to perform as doctors, paramedics, and traffic engineers. Responding to a domestic disturbance they are expected to perform as counselors and therapists, as well as keepers of the peace. Dealing with juveniles, they are expected to perform as parents, teachers and sociologists. In the courtroom they are expected to be lawyers. If they do not perform with excellence every day, they risk complaints from the public, discipline from the department, suits from disgruntled defendants, criticism from the prosecutor and judges, investigations by the news media, and even death when a life-threatening situation is not handled properly. They risk their mental health by exposure to the worst our society has to offer. Nevertheless, they are often paid less than plumbers, auto mechanics, school teachers, and truck drivers.

        You will rarely see a TV Movie of the Week or newspaper headlines about good cops, working with compassion and commitment. In fact, the vast majority of law enforcement officers are hard-working and dedicated professionals who are committed to “making a difference.” They deserve our respect and our thanks.

        Brian Gensel
        Prosecuting Attorney

        1. Words…fail…me.

        2. Is this guy on our planet?

          I can hardly turn on my TV without seeing some series or reality show about “hero cops”. Even when there is a ‘bad cop’, there are always plenty of ‘good cops’ on the show who ‘do the right thing.’

          Networks, like prosecutors, enjoy fellating cops.

          1. But cops are often very versatile while doing their job. I’ll acknowledge that. It in no way makes them a hero.

            If LEOs solved more problems with the skills Gensel speaks of, Radley would have less articles to write.

        3. I agree with that post for the most part, and I think they should take the “counselor” approch if they have to deal with this issue.

          But the problem isn’t with the people whom Mr. Gensel speaks. The problem is with Mr Gensel, and prosecutors. It goes back to the issue of discretion.

    5. Common sense will be exercised in the disposition of this situation.

      I am going to assume you are who you say you are. From your comment, you seem open to the possibility that this is something in which the prosecutor’s office should not be involved.

      What I question is your assumption that ANY state agency should (or even has the right to be involved). Unless there is evidence that a third party solicited or sought access to these photos, the matter should have been dropped immediately, without reference to the ‘probation department.’ Indeed, why was there even a ‘police report’ in the first place? Was someone spying on the kid’s email?

  26. The children now love luxury; they have bad manners, contempt for
    authority; they show disrespect for elders and love chatter in place
    of exercise. Children are now tyrants, not the servants of their
    households. They no longer rise when elders enter the room. They
    contradict their parents, chatter before company, gobble up dainties
    at the table, cross their legs, and tyrannize their teachers.

    Socrates

    1. cross their legs

      Wait, what?

      1. It makes intercrural sex impossible. A big no-no in Athens.

        1. Is there anything you don’t know?

          1. Yes. I don’t know how to love.

          2. Actually, that comes under the “things I don’t WANT to know” heading.

          3. Mostly I just have a very good recall for things that I can shock/horrify/make jokes about. And I went to library school, so I can look things up well.

            If it helps, I’m basically illiterate about math and sports.

  27. We should just outlaw children.

  28. It is illegal because they are underage, but can be charged like adults? They are not mature enough to do this, but can be mature enough to under stand the law?

    Which is it, are they children or adults?

    Should they really be branded for life for something that is biologically normal for them.

    1. You’re right, and someone has pointed this out before. Child porn is illegal because children can’t consent to being the subjects of pornographic images, this being the case you couldn’t charge kids as adults for taking nekkid images of themselves for the very reason you pointed out.

      1. In the other thread, the idea that kids should be protected got me some anti-rave responses. I don’t give a shit – kids DO need to be protected (and not in the “it’s for the children” way liberals mean) – but this trend of arresting kids for taking pics of themselves IS disturbing.

  29. If these kids really wanted to piss off the prosecutors, they’d also take pictures of themselves enjoying the post-coital cigarette.

  30. I debated about responding (probably shouldn’t be now) but I wanted to set the record straight. When the police get a report of illegal juvenile activity, they refer it to juvenile probation. Period. No prosecutor involvement at this point. Maybe in the future. Maybe not. Do you really think I look “squinty-eyed”?

    1. “”When the police get a report of illegal juvenile activity, they refer it to juvenile probation. Period. “”

      If you are who you say you are, and of course, we are very skeptical here, welcome to H&R.

      In the process of setting the record straight, are the kids, in fact, charged with the crimes as the article implies? You make it sound like there behavior has merely been reported.

      1. Make that, their behavior.

  31. Illinois legislation is pending to make it illegal to upload on the Internet or disseminate a video of someone without their consent or with the intent to cause harm.
    This section is at least as disconcerting. I guess no more videos of cops shooting innocent people, beating up students or any number of other issues.

  32. Yes, it is truly me. I’m merely trying to inform you folks that the “viral media” is wrong in reporting that these kids have been charged. They haven’t.

    1. I would hardly call the Chicago Tribune “viral media”. But if they are wrong, they are wrong.

      Many prosecutors don’t get it, nor care to. They are making the problem worse. Parents have enough to worry about with this issue, they don’t need to worry if their child will get stuck living at home because they can’t get a job as a result of being placed on what was suppose to be a sexual predator list.

      To combat the sexting hysteria, we need prosecutors who understand the issue and have the fortitude and wisdom to NOT jump on the bandwagon.

      You seem to understand that kids are kids, and you are correct about the dangers in the digital world. Of course, the kids don’t view the danger that way.

      We should be working on how to educate them about why it’s not a good idea. They may listen, they may not, but I’m not sure how charging them with crimes (not you at this point) helps the problem, it just makes it far worse.

      Ridicule by peers seems to be a better penalty than a ruined life by government.

      Maybe we’ll see your name again when Radley writes an article about prosecutors who buck the trend and apply reason in their decisions.

  33. Oh and far as the sexting issue is concerned, I know of no law that makes it legal for teachers or principles to either be in possession of “child pornography” not to actively seek out “pornographic” photos of their students. If the teacher viewed the photos I would support them being prosecuted.

  34. From the prosecutor himself, taken from the Porter County website:
    A Prosecutor must know the difference between what he can do and what he should do.”

    http://www.porterco.org/index……Itemid=146

  35. Exactly.

  36. Mr. Gensel:
    Does your comment mean that you won’t be charging these teenagers with child pornography possession and therefore ruining their lives forever?

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