Should Cops Arrest a 14-Year-Old Boy on Child Porn Charges Because He Sexted?

Investigation occupied the Redding, Connecticut, police department for three months.



Redding, Connecticut, cops arrested a 14-year-old boy and charged him with possession of child pornography, harassment, and obscenity. He must be quite the evil young man. 

Or is he? Perhaps he's just a regular, slightly flawed but perfectly healthy and well-adjusted teenage boy. 

This news story makes it impossible to determine the exact nature of his crime, but if I had to hazard a guess, I would say that he likely shared an illicit photo of a similarly-aged female—perhaps his girlfriend—with some of his friends. 

That was a mistake on his part. It's wrong to share inappropriate photos of other people without their permission. Youngsters who do so should be reprimanded by their parents. If the photos were shared at school (which does not seem to be the case here), the school is justified in dishing out some reasonable punishment. Authority figures should instruct teens to behave responsibly and respect each other's bodies. 

What shouldn't happen is exactly what did happen. This is simply not a matter for the police, even if nude photos shared between underage teens violate the letter of child pornography laws. Kids are not predators. It's not wrong for 14-year-olds to express sexual interest in each other. 

According to, the cops investigated this teen for three months. Three. Entire. Months. How many police resources were tied up while the officers were busy figuring out why two teens were sexting each other? 

The kid has been "release into the custody of his parents," who ought to give him a stern talking-to. Why society has seen fit to brand him a criminal as well truly boggles the mind. 

NEXT: Donald Trump Has Wrecked the Republican Party. Here's What a Better GOP Could Look Like.

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  1. Is that picture auto-biographical?

    1. 25 years to life in the pokey ought to wipe off that lustful smirk.

      1. Lustful? That’s more the look you get when you find out Comic-Con tickets just went on sale.

        1. *blinks*

          It… totally is. Huh.

  2. If you don’t punish someone, everyone will forget is a crime.

  3. the cops investigated this teen for three months

    Bob, did he send anymore pics today?

    No Bill, maybe we’ll get lucky tomorrow.

      1. “Comments are now closed. We turn off the comments on stories dealing with personal loss, tragedies or other sensitive topics.”

        Ya know, I’ll just bet there are stories at the Washington Post dealing with “tragedies” where the comments are still turned on.

      2. See, you cynical bastards don’t think these guys ever do the right thing.

  4. So the cops jerked off to investigated the nude pic(s) of his girlfriend for three months. It’s not like they have anything else to do. Seriously. I mean, this is Redding after all.

    1. They were just doing their duty to protect us.

    2. They probably not-so-subtlely passed those photos around while they had the kid in some interrogation room.

      My guess? His fourteen-year-old cock is larger than theirs so they were taking out their jealousy on him.

      1. That wouldn’t surprise me, nor would them being super jealous of him actually getting some action at that age. I’ve long speculated that these absurd prosecutions of teenagers for sex stuff is mostly based on intense sexual jealousy on the part of police and prosecutors and school administrators. Nothing else makes sense, except possibly intense sexual prudery (which is usually undergirded by intense sexual jealousy). There is quite simply no other reason to go after these kids so sadistically.

        1. “Sadistically” is, I believe, the operative word. They’re sadists. They do it because it pleases them, and because they can.

          1. Oh, most definitely. Government by its very monopolistic nature attracts sadists, because their victims can’t get away or turn to another “service” provider.

      2. Steroids do have a negative effect on penis size.

        1. More like their lack of exercise has caused them to gain weight, so they look fat, feel fat, are fat, and their little nightsticks just aren’t what they used to be.

  5. Oh, absolutely, throw that monster in a cage so we can all sleep safely at night. Until all the citizens can maintain the saintly morality of our dear elected leaders, re-education is mandatory.

    1. On the contrary, what we need is to shed all social mores but live in a massive panopticon of a nation, watching and snitching on everyone around us. Nobody will be jailed because everyone will be in jail, and morality will be enforced with the granularity of a family unit but on a national scale. I read a book about it once.

      1. This sounds efficient. Nobody needs 27 different types of families.

      2. Well since everything is already illegal, most of the pieces are already in place. Forward to utopia!

        1. Forward to utopia!

          What is the libertarian victory hymn? Do I just flip a coin to pick between Dixie and the Battle Hymn Of The Republic and assume that everyone will interpret them as equally racist? Does the libertarian moment include harmonicas in the conversion camps or will I just have to whistle?

  6. Speaking of Cops…

    Jamar Clark: No charges against Minneapolis police officers in fatal shooting

    1. At Freeman’s news conference, Raeisha Williams, communications director for the Minneapolis chapter of the NAACP and a City Council candidate, said to him, “If the city burns, it’s on your hands.”

      No, Ms. Williams, it’s really not.

      1. I fucking live in North Minneapolis. My bus crosses Plymouth. Taking a cab home from the office today. Cabs take the freeway.

      2. I’m sure if the city “burns” she’ll be out there on the front lines trying to restore order.

      3. Someone just fancies herself as the real Katniss Everdeen.

        1. She’s on to me!

      4. No, Ms. Williams, it’s really not.

        Not so fast. At some point, violent opposition to an oppressive state is the oppressive state’s fault, is it not?

        1. If they’re burning down city hall or local precincts, sure. I’m still more of a law-and-order type than I am a burn-it-to-the-ground anarchist, so I’d rather they took the ballot box and challenged the political machine, but I could at least sympathize with the backlash.

        2. According to JFK. He fucked hot chicks, so we probably ought to listen.

        3. Except that violent opposition always seems to involve looting hair supply, liquor, and convenience stores, not anything to do with the oppressive state.

          1. Lately, it’s more been targeted at drug stores. At least, in Baltimore.

            1. Drug stores and payday lenders.

  7. “release into the custody of his parents,”

    These masturbation euphemisms are getting pretty abstract.

    1. Wait, we’re still doing phrasing?

  8. I don’t have the heart left to even take the mickey out of this story… Just whip the child. Be done with it. Follow the law. If we don’t callously uphold the unjust law then there is seriously no point to any of this.

    1. I don’t have the heart left to even take the mickey out of this story… Just whip the child.

      Now THAT masturbation euphemism isn’t abstract at all.

  9. Of course I never did this myself, but as a teenager, I know that there were many of my… friends that would go on newsgroups to download pictures of girls who certainly were over 18 and were not younger teenagers the same age my friends were. Nope.

    Goddamn I’m glad I’m not growing up nowadays.

  10. I want them to parade all these sexual predators, every single deviant one of them, from every state. March them across a stage, on national television. Let the nation bare witness to the evil persons bravely destroyed by the state. Let them not hide in the shadow but be cast out under a bright light. I want my mother to look at these criminals, I want my father, and my sister and my neighbors and my coworkers to look these criminals in the eye; to weigh and measure them, to find them wanting of all virtue and witness the justice they receive by the United States government as it righteously prosecutes under God.

  11. Will the Libertarian Party be publicly advocate for repeal or amendment of the laws that allow the authorities to do this stuff?

    1. advocating

    2. Why not? It’s not like anyone is listening, or cares.

  12. “We have now sunk to a depth at which restatement of the obvious is the first duty of intelligent men.” – George Orwell

    In this case, the obvious being that teenagers are horny.

    1. Get out.

      No, seriously, get out. You’re gonna get us all in trouble with talk like that.

    2. Not to play devil’s advocate but… there’s a bit of a difference between “being horny” and sharing nude pics. Especially if the subject of the pics in question didn’t intend to give all his friends an eyeful.

      1. I think sharing nude pics falls under the umbrella of being horny

        1. They charged a boy for sharing pics of a girl. With whom? It doesn’t say. If he shared them with his pals, I don’t see what “horny” has to do with it.

      2. Especially if the subject of the pics in question didn’t intend to give all his friends an eyeful.

        If the subject of the pics in question didn’t intend to give anyone other than the recipient an eyeful, they shouldn’t have sent the data to their telco provider with the expectation of privacy. Even flat-out plain-English contracted control of information post-distribution is pretty weak libertarian sauce; I’m sure a little affirmative consent for sexting will solve all these problems simply and neatly!

        1. Maybe *he* took the pics. Again, we don’t have enough information.

  13. This could all be handled with the heroes in blue using a few flash bang grenades. And perhaps a choke hold.

    1. There wasn’t a crib or small family pet around, so they couldn’t really get the bloodlust going. And since they were already aroused by the sight of pubescent teenagers, they didn’t need the usual routine of inflicting needless cruelty to get all three and a half inches fully turgid.

    2. The most exotic masturbation euphemism yet. Well done, you.

  14. We cannot allow this sexual deviant anywhere near a school or playground, to protect the children who have yet to become naturally curious about the bodies of the opposite gender! Once they do, however, it’ll be off to the hoosegow with ’em!

    1. My kids are currently into Sailor Moon Crystal. (Yes, yes.) The other day, during Sailor Moon’s magical sparkly transformation, I overheard my nine year old mutter under his breath, “… almost.”

      1. Almost what?!?

      2. heh.. just like me, your boy watches anime for the plot.

      3. I felt the same way about Lynda Carter whirling around and turning into Wonder Woman.

  15. While almost universally denied, some level of interest in so-called “child porn” seems to be essentially ubiquitous among males.

    Scientific studies based on credible empirical evidence do not support the mass hysteria and moral panic that currently surrounds so-called “child pornography.” According to several objective research reports, some of which are discussed in the essay linked below, the viewing of this material is most often harmless and does not always lead to behaviors which are currently considered to be criminal. Many ? perhaps most – of those charged with possessing and viewing “child pornography” have never been involved with a child. Also, the conjecture that all “pornography” is taken without consent is not borne out by empirical facts, and the delusion that children are hurt every time their image is viewed simply is not rational ? the child most likely never knows about such viewings. For an essay discussing this subject published in a reputable scientific journal, see

    For a free downloadable 94 page book on these issues which includes voluntary anonymous testimony from now grown former child “actors,” see

    1. Oh Christ, not this again.

    2. They don’t appear to be NAMBLA links, but I’ll pass all the same.

      1. I remember them. From the famous South Park episode ‘Verdicus Joins NAMBLA’.

  16. If the photos were shared at school (which does not seem to be the case here), the school is justified in dishing out some reasonable punishment.

    Wow! You might want to have a chat with Gilespie, Shackford, et. al. about the government’s obligation to respect students’ sex/gender orientation.

    1. If the photos were shared at school (which does not seem to be the case here), the school is justified in dishing out some reasonable punishment.

      Unless there was some disruption to the school, the school can fuck the hell off.

      1. Unless there was some disruption to the school, the school can fuck the hell off.

        Kinda surprised that Robby, at the college level, will willingly acknowledge that a University is not an extension of the DOJ and should be very hands off in the matter but, because of the weird magic involved with 18 revolutions of the sun, HS are free to wallow in the statist shit meating out punishment and getting involved in civil/interpersonal non-crimes.

  17. Incidentally, NAMBLA is offering free of charge to review any “sexts” from underage boys to help authorities determine whether said material rises to the level of breaking the law.

    1. What does “not in my back ya…….” oh, wait a minute.

      Never mind.

  18. @robby: Please stop with shit like this ” It’s wrong to share inappropriate photos of other people without their permission.” No. It is wrong to share any photos of other people without their permission. Partially or fully nude photos are not of themself “inappropriate.”

    1. +1 Mennonite

  19. How many burglaries took place in Redding in the last 6 mos? Assaults? Murders?

    How many have been solved?

  20. “This is simply not a matter for the police, even if nude photos shared between underage teens violate the letter of child pornography laws. Kids are not predators.”

    Going to disagree when you look at some of the high profile rape cases out there.

Please to post comments

Comments are closed.