This is every parent of a underage teenage boy's nightmare. No matter how many times you tell them what can happen if they sext with their girlfriends, they're going to do it anyway. If the girl's parents happen to object or get angry, said teenage boy can find himself facing child pornography charges, and if she sent photos, that same boy could face possession of pornography.
Which is exactly what has happened to a teenager in Manassas, Virginia. Charges were brought in January and dismissed after prosecutors declined to prosecute. A 17-year old boy was allegedly sexting with a 15-year old girl, and found himself facing the long arm of the law.
However, the nightmare is not over for him. Prosecutors have brought new charges, and this time they have a somewhat bizarre evidence warrant.
A 17 year-old Virginia teenager who is under investigation for sending a consensual sext to his 15-year-old girlfriend may be forced to have an erection in front of police as evidence in the case.
The boy, who the Washington Post will not identify for privacy reasons, is being charged with two felonies — one for possession of child pornography (sexts from his girlfriend) and one for manufacturing child pornography (taking video of himself). He faces time in prison, as well as permanent placement on the sex offender registry.
Police have already taken photos of the boy’s genitals as a part of their investigation, his lawyer told the Post. But they want to bring the teen to the hospital and inject him with something that will force an erection, to compare his erect penis to that in the video found on his phone.
Wow. Obsessive, much? Or do we have a situation where an angry and powerful parent is pushing prosecution of this case? It smells obsessive to me.
From the statement from the prosecutor's office:
On January 23, 2014 Manassas City Police was contacted by a parent of a 15 YOA female juvenile who was sent pornographic videos by a 17 YOA male suspect after repeatedly being told to stop. Upon further investigating the incident charges of manufacturing and distributing child pornography were brought against the 17 YOA male suspect on January 28, 2014 after consultation with the Commonwealth Attorney’s Office. The matter was set for trial on June 4th 2014 where charges were nolle prosqui by a Prince William County Assistant Commonwealth Attorney.
The circumstances on the decision to dismiss charges and bring forward new charges cannot be released at this time due to this incident being an active investigation and involving juveniles. New charges of manufacturing and distributing child pornography have been brought forward and a court date is pending.
In this time of austerity and budget cuts they're wasting money and resources prosecuting a sexting case? Really? What is the matter with these people?
The teen is facing two felony charges, for possession of child pornography and manufacturing child pornography, which could lead not only to incarceration until he’s 21, but inclusion on the state sex offender data base for, possibly, the rest of his life. David Culver of NBC Washington first reported the story and interviewed the teen’s guardian, his aunt, who was shocked at the lengths Prince William authorities were willing to go to make a sexting case in juvenile court.
“The prosecutor’s job is to seek justice,” said the teen’s defense lawyer, Jessica Harbeson Foster. “What is just about this? How does this advance the interest of the Commonwealth? This is a 17-year-old who goes to school every day, plays football, has never been in trouble with the law before. Now he’s saddled with two felonies and the implication that he’s a sexual predator. I don’t mind trying the case. My goal is to stop the search warrant. I don’t want him to go through that. Taking him down to the hospital so he can get an erection in front of all those cops, that’s traumatizing.”
Want to bet there's a race issue in here somewhere?