You read that right.
The authorities in Prince William County, Virginia, are pursuing child pornography charges against a 17 year old who exchanged nude picture texts with his 15-year-old girlfriend. The police have even filed a warrant that would permit them to take the teen to the hospital, give him an erection-producing injection, and photograph his penis. Prosecutors want to compare this photograph to the one the teen sent to his girlfriend, establishing that they depict the same thing.
Some astute logicians might point out the irony of the police effectively creating child pornography in order to prosecute someone for creating child pornography, though long-time readers of Reason know that law enforcement has a history of doing precisely that.
Carlos Flores Laboy, appointed the teen's guardian ad litem in the case, said he thought it was just as illegal for the Manassas City police to create their own child pornography as to investigate the teen for it. "They're using a statute that was designed to protect children from being exploited in a sexual manner," Flores Laboy said, "to take a picture of this young man in a sexually explicit manner. The irony is incredible." The guardian added, "As a parent myself, I was floored. It's child abuse. We're wasting thousands of dollars and resources and man hours on a sexting case. That's what we're doing."
Foster said Detective Abbott told her that after obtaining photos of the teen's erect penis he would "use special software to compare pictures of this penis to this penis. Who does this? It's just crazy."
Keep in mind that police have already taken photographs of the teen's private parts after arresting him and holding him in juvenile jail to await charges. Good grief, how many pictures of a teenage boy's penis does one police department need?
The teen has so far refused to plead guilty. If convicted, he could stay in jail until he turns 21.
Check out ReasonTV's coverage of the absurdities of the sex offender registry below.