This Boston criminal lawyer will tell you that this type of crime is one of the most widening areas of danger for our youth today. Another one is in the area of “self-defense” but we will get to that another day.
It involves the possession and dissemination of child pornography…by children!
This past Friday, Fall River law enforcement arrested a 17-year-old kid (hereinafter, the “Defendant”) who now stands charged with having created a Facebook page featuring of nude pictures of High school students. The actual charges will include dissemination of obscene material harmful to minors, and possessing child pornography.
While the theoretical jury may be out as to whether the Defendant was fully aware of the seriousness of his actions, the Commonwealth was ready and waiting. Less than 24-hours after complaints were received by the Fall River police department officials were able to trace the origin of where the account was created and with the help of several witnesses they were able to identify the suspect.
The name of the Facebook page was “River Hooters”. Posted there were dozens of graphic and explicit images of high school girls from Fall River. The girls in the photos ranged in age, some as young as 16-years-old. The page came to the awareness of law enforcement when they were mortified by various females that they saw naked pictures of themselves and of friends on the page.
According to Mayor Flanagan, some of the photos had been taken without the knowledge of the girl pictured; other photographs were self portraits…now known as “Selfies”, the so-called “word of the year” for 2013.
The page had already been well known at Durfee High School, where students say they are not surprised because “sexting” among their peers is on the rise.
Despite the apparent comfort the younger general public seems to have with taking such “selfies” and “sexting” one another, that public stands outraged at the Facebook page.
“It is rude an[d] ignorant of the person to make the whole website. It is just so irresponsible,” said one female student. “It definitely affects people but I mean they got there for a reason. They were probably sent to someone in a relation and got out onto the internet,” said another student.
“These types of actions are disturbing and horrific. And as mayor it saddens me to see our children being exploited especially via the internet,” said Mayor Flanagan.
The investigation will continue as law enforcement say that more evidence collection needs to be done. Both the Mayor Flanagan and Chief Racine are pleased that the Defendant is in custody.
This particular website has, of course, been taken down.
Do you think the problem has been truly addressed?
Not on your life.
Attorney Sam’s Take On Unsuspecting Children And Future Criminal Defendants
Before I am misunderstood, let me clearly state that what the Defendant is charged with doing in this case is by no means a victimless crime. Even in cases wherein kids intentionally take naked photographs of themselves and send them to a more-than-friend, to then throw them on a public bulletin board like the internet is a very hurtful and terrible crime.
You may further count me in on the argument that those kids who took such “selfies” were kids acting without maturity or sense (part of the job description of being a kid) and so they cannot really be blamed for making such stupid decisions.
However, that presents a bit of a logistical problem, doesn’t it?
If kids that age do not fully appreciate what they are doing…then I guess that would include the Defendant and his ilk who are of the same age, wouldn’t it?
Unfortunately, the law does not really recognize that. The fact that a teen-age male with his hormones busting out all over the place reacts in such a reckless and stupid fashion to girls his age, perhaps for the same reason, taking nude photos of themselves and sending them hither and yon seems to be lost on our criminal (juvenile or otherwise) system.
Instead of a “stupid kid”, the Defendant is treated as not only a criminal, but a sexual predator. In fact, if the Defendant is convicted as charge, he not only faces a mandatory minimum prison sentence of 10 years, but also a spot on the Sex Offender Registry. Need I add incidentals like what the charges will do to any hopes he may have had for higher education or some sort of career?
In short we have added yet another one of our kids to the slot where we used to simply deposit the name of true evil doers like rapists, sexual slave traffickers and those truly involved in the industry of child pornography.
“But, Sam, the law is the law!”
Is it? Perhaps, then, you will explain why it is that those innocent young senseless kids who are possessing and trading naked photos of themselves and those close to them are never even subject to reprimand?
Of course, we are not going to change any laws here. Before we get anywhere close to that, people are going to have to learn how they and their loved ones are at real risk when they doggedly toast the criminal justice system when the news-on-the-surface tells them that all is well and only the “bad guys” are being punished.
Of course, getting the word out is part of the reason for this blog…which I fight harder and harder to get back to its once daily production.
In the meantime, understand that these types of cases can be the death knell for all future plans for many of our kids. Tell your kids. Check your kids.
Maybe some of them will even take you seriously.
And, if you want to do anything real about it…think about it and then decide if it is worth your time to do anything about it!
To read the original story upon which this blog is based, please go to http://www.abc6.com/story/24591196/graphic-images-of-fall-river-teens-show-up-on-facebook