Tuesday, May 05, 2009

Careful With Those Pix, Granma

Over at Reason's blog, Radley Balko has the sad tale of the unfortunately named Donna Dull, a 59-year old grandmother who was arrested and charged with producing kiddie porn. How was this loathsome sexual predator caught? A photo developer at Wal-Mart turned her in when she left a roll of film with pictures of her 3-year old granddaughter taking a bath. Charges were eventually dropped, but only after a special prosecutor took over from the local DA, who still thinks he was on the right path.

The more to the story, in Balko's words:

So in sum, if you don't want to get arrested and charged for taking nude photos of your infant or toddler, make sure you know what criteria your local prosecutor uses when navigating that 'gray area' between a cute butt and a criminally alluring one (note: you probably don't want to actually pose this question to him). Also, if you find yourself under investigation after dropping off a roll of film at the CVS, you might want to bake the prosecutor some cookies, since it appears that his 'gut' will be the final arbiter of whether you're a doting parent or an accused child pornographer.

Finally, even if the nude photos you've taken of your kids pass the clear-as-mud 'cute butt,' 'gut feeling,' and 'reasonable people can disagree/that's when it comes to us' tests, and are deemed innocent as a basket of puppies, you could still be in violation of the law if the state determines that the clothed to unclothed-but-innocent ratio in your family photo albums is inappropriate.

Got all that? Good.

Because they promise, you really have nothing to worry about.
I share his sarcasm. The whole article is worth reading, if just to see how hard it is for a prosecutor to admit he was wrong.

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