Free-Range Kids

Dad Asks Cops to Intervene in Daughter's Sexting. They Arrest Him for Child Porn.

He kept the photos: for evidence.

|

Sexting
Pbclub / Dreamstime

A man who found out that his 15-year-old stepdaughter was sexting her boyfriend proceeded to download the evidence to bring it to the school and the police to ask them to intervene.

Oh dear, readers. You know where this is heading. Intervene they did. Now the dad has been convicted on child pornography charges and placed on the sex offender registry. This, despite the judge understanding exactly why the man, Ashan Ortell, 57, held onto the images.

"There is no suggestion of any exploitation of them by anybody," ruled Judge Jane Patrick, over in Australia, which is becoming as daffy as the United States. "You made no attempt to conceal the images. In fact, you were so concerned that you contacted the authorities about the images."

But who cares about good intentions? The judge ruled him a kiddie pornographer anyway. That shouldn't ruin his life or anything, right?

It all went down like this, according to the Sydney Morning Herald (not for nothing are its initials SMH):

In a case that could have consequences for parents concerned about sexting, 57-year-old Ashan Ortell was sentenced in the County Court this week after admitting to copying the naked images on to a computer and USB stick.

Despite warnings he could be prosecuted, Ortell kept the pictures because he was not satisfied by the response from police and the girl's school. He had informed them about the sexual photos his stepdaughter had sent to her boyfriend.

After refusing to delete the pictures, Ortell's computer and USBs were seized in multiple raids by police in 2013. They found 18 images on the devices.

Judge Patrick ruled that while his case was unusual, under no circumstances can a person hold onto sexual pictures of children. Having pleaded guilty, Ortell now has to register as a sex offender for eight years.

The ridiculous advice the Victoria police are giving to parents in the wake of this case is: Talk to your children about sexting "and encourage them not to communicate with people they don't know."

Well, okay. How would that have helped? The girl was definitely communicating with someone she did know: her boyfriend. I'm also guessing that talking to your kids about sexting is like talking to them about abstinence. A few may pay heed, but many won't.

The fact that sexualized pictures of "children" (anyone under 18 qualifies in federal child porn statues) are rampant and often consensual should somehow be reflected in the laws. Instead, low-level sex offenses are becoming the low-level drug offenses of this century: Something we overreact to in a charade of concern and, in the process, turn decent people into criminals.

As if the cure isn't worse than the crime.

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 Reason.com or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

88 responses to “Dad Asks Cops to Intervene in Daughter's Sexting. They Arrest Him for Child Porn.

  1. “Australia, which is becoming as daffy as the United States.”

    I think that ship has long since sailed.

    1. Hell, half the crazy shit that goes on here is just copied from them (or Europe).

      1. Remember, every animal in Australia will try to kill you….even the pigs.

    2. My co-worker’s step-sister makes $97 hourly on the laptop . She has been out of work for six months but last month her paycheck was $14100 just working on the laptop for a few hours. Go this website and click to tech tab to start your work… http://tinyurl.com/hhwe4zl

    3. More of this duck talk…

  2. Judge Patrick ruled that while his case was unusual, under no circumstances can a person hold onto sexual pictures of children.

    Yeah, there are no exceptions to this. None. That’s why the judge also sentenced everyone in the chain of custody for the evidence in this case.

    1. Judge Patrick ruled that while his case was unusual, under no circumstances can a person hold onto sexual pictures of children.

      Which is why she immediately convicted the police who seized the computer and USB stick holding the images for possession of child porn too. Because that’s what “Under No Circumstances” means, right?

      1. Badges are magic talismans that protect their wearers from contracting any sin associated with handling plebeian filth.

    2. Yeah, there are no exceptions to this. None. That’s why the judge also sentenced everyone in the chain of custody for the evidence in this case.

      They probably handled it with some of that special cloth you use to wipe email servers.

    3. How many of these child porn investigators have been busted here keeping copies of evidence at home? More than just a few I think, and the ones caught are no doubt the tip of a very large iceberg.

      1. the ones caught are no doubt the tip of a very large iceberg

        Just the tip?

    4. Everyone is missing the key word here: stepdaughter.

      1. That more of a familial relationship than the one she had with the coppers who also possessed the images.

  3. In other news: police are baffled by the refusal of citizens to report crimes or cooperate with police. Irony at 11.

  4. “Judge Patrick ruled that while his case was unusual, under no circumstances can a person hold onto sexual pictures of children. Having pleaded guilty, Ortell now has to register as a sex offender for eight years“.

    As bad as this is, if Australia sunsets sex offenders off the list after so many years, they’re way ahead of the United States.

    If their judges can elect to sentence sex offenders to being on the sex offender list like they can sentence them to prison (only for so many years), then Australia is way ahead of the United States on their sex offender registry in that regard, too.

    1. Some US jurisdictions provide for limits on how long people are required to register as sex offenders. See paragraphs 4 and 5 here for examples: slate.com/articles/news and politics/jurisprudence/2014/08/sex offender registry laws by state mapped.html (insert underscores into the spaces to make the link work; I had to break it up due to the 50 character limit).

      1. FYI, HTML for links works at this site, so you can type < a href="link goes here" >display text goes here< /a > (just delete the spaces after < ). Then you won't have to worry about the 50 character limit.

  5. From the SMH article: “The court heard that Ortell had copied the pictures after confiscating a phone from his stepdaughter, who at the time was aged about 15.”

    This is a bullshit prosecution however, confiscating the phone from the girl should have been enough. Never get the police involved!

    1. Hate to say it but I’m starting to lose sympathy for people who call the cops.

      1. “That man just shot you in the leg!”
        “I know, but don’t call the cops.”
        “Why not?”
        “I’m a libertarian goddamn it!”

    2. Yeah, in the US his daughter and her boyfriend would have been prosecuted, too

    3. Much merit in not involving the police, particularly in non violent situations. It will only get worse.

  6. Many people still don’t seem to understand what the police are for, nor that summoning the police may be easy, but dismissing them is impossible.

  7. Surely a jury didn’t convict him.

  8. He appealed to the police to intervene?

    Oh, what a sweet little lamb.

  9. Fuck this guy. He called the cops on his own (step) daughter. Let me repeat that. He called the cops on a child. Fuck him.

    1. Yeah, I’m sure it was that clean cut. She sexted, he found out and called the cops. Nothing else happened.

      First, 15 and sexting. Minor, yes. Child, no. It’s not like she accidentally got hold of her mother’s phone and sent naked pictures to grandma or her big brother’s friend. She sent sexy pictures to her boyfriend and phone privileges were revoked.

      I couldn’t possibly imagine college-aged women, let alone teenage girls, being divisive with their sexuality and manipulating a justice system deliberately and overtly slanted in their favor. He definitely made a mistake in calling the cops, that doesn’t make her innocent.

      1. She’s definately going to hell

        1. Libertarian hell, anyway.

          1. No porn?

            1. In Libertarian hell, the damned souls are expected to torture themselves for eternity instead of relying on an omnipotent centralized authority to do it for them.

              1. I do that now by coming here.

              2. I’d imagine a libertarian hell would appear to the sufferer as a paradise filled with tantalizing pleasures, but had the catch that the damned could not do a single thing without first getting the unanimous approval of a 50 member collective composed of HoA board members.

            2. Worse. State-issued pornography.

          2. Libertarian Hell: Round the clock warrantless searches. “Yes. You are being detained.”

      2. Are you saying that the girl *wanted* to get her boyfriend arrested, so she sent him sexts then let it “slip” to her father that it happened? If so: I mean, that’s not impossible, but you seem to be assuming that the only way for the dad to find out is if the girl arranged for him to find out.

      3. This is also a problem because of equating nudity with sex. The law now says that any naked image of someone under 18 is porn, whether there’s sexual content or not. Better not rent Brooke Shields’ “Pretty Baby”

    2. I agree with DenverJ. Also, apparently I am the only one that suspects that he didn’t keep those pictures “for evidence.”

      1. Yeah, I fear he kept them for review. One-handed review.

  10. Is this the part where I’m supposed to be glad that our incomes are “up” (real spending power WAY down) and we live longer lives? See, THIS is where the anxiety that crushes our lives comes from. Who cares if our “incomes” are higher if its bullshit money that’s being debased by the day, and people are living longer so they can spend the last two years of their lives in a puddle of (hopefully) their own urine?

    I live in a world where I install a new heater and central air system for my house, I have to spend $185 of my money to give some jerk a job to “inspect” the installation, and he gets to tell me I have an “illegal bedroom” and he writes a note for my permanent file with the village. Multiply this shit by a thousand and the world becomes a world where you break three laws before you’ve had your breakfast.

    1. Yes, but someone you don’t know and will never meet has clean running water. So it’s all the same to them, really.

      Do you think they hear how jaw-droppingly collectivist all those little “sure, but on net, y’know, globally speaking” pollyanna chirpings are?

      1. Nah. They don’t.

        My problem: Other people’s well-being doesn’t net against my loss of freedom.

        There’s a more fundamental issue though: what counts as freedom? To me, its the absence of government control. A thought experiment.

        Person A lives in a town with three restaurants, and go to all three of them. Person B lives in a town with 12 restaurants, and is prohibited by the government from going to one of them. I think Person A is more free, because he can go to any restaurant he wants. Apparently, many believe Person B is more free, because he can go to more restaurants.

        The technology has made us more free even as the government has metastasized crowd thinks Person B is more free. Its not a crazy definition of freedom, but its not really one that is consistent with libertarianism, which is a philosophy about the size and scope of government.

        1. I liken it to acknowledging our corrupt justice system. Sure, police are murdering citizens in broad daylight on video. But really, we’re statistically safer than we’ve ever been in all of human history!

          Freedom of the individual and statistics are an incongruous conflation.

          1. Everybody wants small government.

            Democrats want small government so they cut down to employees with more power.

            Republicans want small government so they give it power to be more petty and vindictive.

            Libertarians want small government so they reduce its power over individuals.

  11. #nevercallthecops

  12. Explain to her that it’s against the rules of the house (and probably illegal, although I don’t know what Australia’s laws are), ground her from something she’ll miss, take away her smart phone and give her a flip phone that can’t take pictures, whatever. But it’s a family matter, why on earth would you call the police?

  13. Another example of NEVER CALL THE COPS!

    “You take the law into your own hands, you don’t take ’em to court.” – Anti-Doug Llewellyn

    1. Exactly. Never call the COPs!
      I received a birthday card from my youngest daughter several years ago. She listed on it, among other things, “3 things my dad tawt me
      1. don’t talk to police
      2. soshalizm is bad
      3. we shud all be free”

      Mission accomplished at 7 yo!

  14. I was prepared to be extremely outraged by this, but it specifically says he was first told by police to delete the pictures and was only arrested after he refused to do so. Creating a “good faith” exception for keeping pictures that no one seems to dispute otherwise legally qualified as child pornography doesn’t seem very workable. (If you want to repeal laws prohibiting possession of child pornography, that’s a more logically supportable argument, but that’s the job of neither the police nor the judge in this context.)

    1. So he was convicted for failure to obey. As ever.

  15. I was prepared to be extremely outraged by this, but it specifically says he was first told by police to delete the pictures and was only arrested after he refused to do so. Creating a “good faith” exception for keeping pictures that no one seems to dispute otherwise legally qualified as child pornography doesn’t seem very workable. (If you want to repeal laws prohibiting possession of child pornography, that’s a more logically supportable argument, but that’s the job of neither the police nor the judge in this context.)

  16. Low level with high level punishment, and stigma.

  17. If he had deleted the pictures he probably would have been charged with obstruction of justice for destroying evidence.

  18. Ortell’s computer and USBs were seized in *multiple* raids by police in 2013.

    Nobody needs more than one no-knock raid.

  19. Idiot shoots himself in the dick. No one surprised or concerned. Most relieved that idiot can no longer reproduce.

  20. The state is not there to help you. It’s there to own you.

  21. I don’t think the Step-dad comes off as exactly a good dude. He’s demanding the authorities do something that is not in their realm, and he’s shopping sexy pictures of a 15 year old girl around trying to motivate them.

    He should be put on an idiots list…

  22. Sounds like some cops and judges over in Oz need to swing from a tree.

  23. Lowes is having a sale on Wood Chippers. Might be a good time to stock up. Never know when you’ll need a spare 2 or 3 Wood Chippers in case one of them gets as gummed up.

  24. And I suppose that parents who find their children’s illegal drugs or guns and take them to police will be charged with possession. This is precisely what’s wrong with possession laws.

  25. So I’m guessing that the dad intended for the *boyfriend* to be arrested? Or did he want the police to scare his daughter into not sexting anymore?

  26. Dumb ass for contacting the police in the first place. Don’t feel sorry for him.

    1. If a Dem or Republican, which is odds-on probable, then by his lights the cops exist to initiate the use of force and bully the weak. He got what he deserved and will get no sympathy from me.

      1. “Strip search her. Make sure we have the right exhibitionist.”

  27. Jury Nullification: Sorely needed especially now, whether it’s down under or the US.

  28. pics or it didnt happen

  29. Bryce . even though Samuel `s story is unbelievable… on tuesday I bought a great Peugeot 205 GTi after making $4790 this – four weeks past an would you believe $10k last month . it’s definitly the most-comfortable work Ive ever done . I actually started 4 months ago and right away startad earning more than $85 p/h . find more info

    ……………. http://www.BuzzNews10.com

  30. About five years from now I’m going to sit down with my kids and show them a folder full of such stories. They grew up before this stuff got so serious, but by then my grandkids will be old enough to worry about.

    “You two grandkids will sooner or later find girlfriends or boyfriends. Rules on how intimate you get with them is between you and your parents, but this is Grandpa’s Rule: No images! Nothing showing private parts without clothes over them! No photos, no video, no 3-D or whatever else they have in 2021. Not even any drawings, computer or otherwise. Don’t take any, even if you aren’t going to send them anywhere. Don’t let anyone take any of you. if you receive any, Delete! Delete! Delete! Don’t tell anyone except your parents or grandparents. Specifically, do not tell anyone at school, the police, or medical people. If any adult asks you any question about images, don’t say anything but ‘I want my parents.’ No matter what.”

    1. “Sir, a cursory data mining of your electronic debit transactions has flagged you as a carbohydrate hoarder…”

  31. Vade retro, Schadenfreude!

  32. You would need a heart of stone not to laugh. This idiot jerk of a father involves the POLICE in a parenting matter? Oh yeah what could possibly go wrong with that? Well I guess he got an long overdue education on that score: The state is not your friend.

  33. Never call the police. Ever.

  34. I knew a girl in high school that had parents like this. Guess what? She dropped out of college, fucked dudes left and right, even fucking her sister’s fiance (not solely her fault), and then getting pregnant without a degree or credible work experience, all the while her older brother became a fighter pilot in the USAF. So, parents you don’t want your child to be a fucking slutty cock sucker? Then don’t be a cringe worthy parent like this father was.

  35. HEY MORON!

    Rule Number 1: Don’t ever call the cops. EVER EVER EVER. It won’t end well.

    1. Didn’t solve any crimes today. Got paid the same.

  36. until I looked at the paycheck saying $4730 , I did not believe that…my… brother woz like actualy bringing in money part time from there computar. . there friend brother started doing this for less than 7 months and resently paid for the morgage on there home and bought a new Cadillac …….

    …….. http://www.jobprofit9.com

  37. Peyton . even though Billy `s report is cool… on monday I got a gorgeous Maserati after I been earnin $8985 thiss month and even more than ten k lass month . it’s certainly the easiest work Ive ever had . I started this 9-months ago and practically straight away started bringin home at least $78 per-hr . look at this now

    ……………. http://www.jobhub44.com

  38. Peyton . even though Billy `s report is cool… on monday I got a gorgeous Maserati after I been earnin $8985 thiss month and even more than ten k lass month . it’s certainly the easiest work Ive ever had . I started this 9-months ago and practically straight away started bringin home at least $78 per-hr . look at this now

    ……………. http://www.jobhub44.com

  39. Matthew . I can see what your saying… Bobby `s storry is surprising, last saturday I got a brand new Land Rover Defender since I been making $4556 this past 5 weeks and more than ten-grand this past-month . this is definitely my favourite-job I have ever had . I began this 4 months ago and immediately made more than $71 per-hr . More Info
    ????????> http://www.factoryofincome.com

  40. Liliana . if you think Lawrence `s blog is incredible, I just purchased a new Honda after earning $5741 this – 4 weeks past and also 10 grand lass month . it’s by-far the most-comfortable job I have ever done . I started this four months/ago and almost immediately began to make minimum $85… p/h .

    see this……………. http://www.BuzzNews10.com

  41. LOL. That dad went to the school and the police for help. Don’t do that.

  42. until I looked at the paycheck saying $4730 , I did not believe that…my… brother woz like actualy bringing in money part time from there computar. . there friend brother started doing this for less than 7 months and resently paid for the morgage on there home and bought a new Cadillac …….

    ……………… http://www.jobprofit9.com

  43. First off, if you are a parent and you want your children to not be sexual and to wait until marriage or whatever, DO NOT INVOLVE POLICE. Jesus Christ. Take your daughters phone and monitor her. Ground her. I don’t know, just don’t involve the cops or the state.

    What I would do? “Honey, just go bang him, here is this list of cases where the government, that I have been telling you is terrible, arrests young people for expressing themselves sexually. Instead, go buy some condoms, or just don’t do vaginal, do anything else, but stop taking photos and sending them and don’t accept/keep any sent to you.”

    Simple. Problem solved, if you go my route, make sure you already taught them about safe sex and risks to unsafe sex and moderation.

  44. Kaylee . I just agree… Michelle `s rep0rt is incredible, on tuesday I bought themselves a Acura after having earned $4812 this past month and a little over 10-k last munth . without a doubt its the easiest-work I have ever had . I began this seven months/ago and pretty much straight away earned over $71 per-hr . pop over to this site

    ……………. http://www.jobhub44.com

  45. until I looked at the paycheck saying $4730 , I did not believe that…my… brother woz like actualy bringing in money part time from there computar. . there friend brother started doing this for less than 7 months and resently paid for the morgage on there home and bought a new Cadillac …….

    …….. http://www.jobprofit9.com

  46. until I looked at the paycheck saying $4730 , I did not believe that…my… brother woz like actualy bringing in money part time from there computar. . there friend brother started doing this for less than 7 months and resently paid for the morgage on there home and bought a new Cadillac …….

    …….. http://www.jobprofit9.com

  47. While coming to education, the technology has brought many advantages to students and as well as teachers. showbox For example, students can do their homework or assignment with ease and can complete it faster by using the Internet.

Please to post comments

Comments are closed.