You know, writing about technology every day, you get used to a certain level of stupidity. But I'm pretty flabbergasted, no outraged, about this story of kids being threatened with jail time for "sexting." So - check this out:
The New York Times reports that 15-year-old Marissa Miller, a Pennsylvania cheerleader, was contacted by District Attorney George P. Skumanick, who said he had a nude photo of her on someone else's cell phone. He threatened Miller and another girl with charges of sexual abuse of a minor unless she attended a 10-hour class on pornography and sexual violence.
Nude photo? Oh, there was a photo: one of Marissa and friend Grace Kelly from the waist up -- wearing bras.
Jail time? For teens taking pics of each other with their bras on? Give. Me. A. Break.
The girls and their mothers felt the same. Rather than accept this bullying, they filed suit against the prosecutor and are represented by the ACLU.
“Prosecutors should not be using a nuclear-weapon-type charge like child pornography against kids who have no criminal intent and are merely doing stupid things,” said Witold J. Walczak, a lawyer with the American Civil Liberties Union of Pennsylvania, which represents the families.
“I’m simply giving them an option,” said Mr. Skumanic, a Republican who has been district attorney for 20 years and faces re-election again in November. “We’re not forcing anybody to do anything, Frankly, it’s sad to me that their parents don’t realize this is wrong and they should be encouraging them to take the classes.”
What's sad to me is that prosecutors can't tell the difference between kids experimenting with bodies and technology and perverts exploiting and abusing children.