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California court upholds child porn reporting law

Therapists in California can be required to report patients who have looked at child pornography on the Internet despite the therapists’ claim that their clients are entitled to confidentiality and pose no threat to children, a state appeals court ruled Monday. Full Article

Decision

Background:Los Angeles Drug Counselor to Therapists: Don’t Out Child Porn Patients

Assembly Bill No. 1775

Join the discussion

  1. Chris F

    I don’t know why I am constantly surprised by short cited constitution ignoring judges.

    Yet again, another law and interpretation of the constitution that only hurts those trying to do the right thing and encourages those that are a true danger to kids to continue to be a threat.

    So why stop there? Why not make all illegal activity (drugs, fraud, tax evasion, etc) that is harming others required to be reported by therapists and clergy? Otherwise, it’s a clear case of violating equal protection too. Only sex offenders can’t seek real treatment?

    Do they really think the best solution is for therapists to have to tell their clients not to disclose their problems or they have to report them to the cops? That’s just dumb, both to the legislature for making the laws and the judges for allowing them.

  2. ab

    No court in the United States today would dare begin setting precedent for changing reporting laws concerning admitting viewing and/or possessing child pornography under almost all circumstances. Perhaps the only available option for preemptively revealing previous viewing or possession of child pornography without getting into trouble is by hiring an attorney just in case a person might be worried about future prosecution. Even then there are likely limits and someone should find out what limits exist before telling everything.

  3. DavidH

    wonderful logic–so now people who have a bone-fide addiction who want to seek help ( what the State would ordinarily claim is the standard someone would be held to “why didn’t you seek help?” ) they prefer someone to not share this information to seek treatment. Our laws and their interpretation have become draconian indeed!

  4. Tired Of Hiding

    So they could go for help to a doctor…admit they just looked at an image online that might be 50 years old at this point and the therapist is still required to turn them into the police?

    How does this help anyone? Answer: It doesn’t…

    Except the government by locking up just another person for a totally victimless “crime” and add one more to a list that death is the only way of getting off of!

    Only in America – and shame on California for not leading the way instead of continuing to operate in the dark ages!

  5. Stephen

    one step backwards.

  6. Shaking my head

    This feeds the mentality of fear. Drug addicts can be helped, wife beaters can find treatment, but sex offenders are beyond help and require punishment only, no mercy, no sympathy. It’s a sad state of affairs. How can we stop these crimes from ever happening if no one is allowed to speak? Might as well start sending everyone who has had an impure thought to prison right now.

  7. Agamemnon

    So, it wasn’t like a contingent of concerned patients were pleading for their sessions to remain confidential, it was the THERAPISTS imploring the state to preserve patient confidentiality for the SAKE OF PUBLIC SAFETY, and the state STILL shot them down.

    That is beyond absurd.

  8. The Unforgiven

    If viewing child porn got a person in trouble with the law and lead the person to therapy and for therapy to work, the person has to admit to the crime…then are they in trouble again?? LOL, what a joke.

    • abolishtheregistry.com

      I would imagine it will go something like this in future parole/probation doctor visits.

      Doc: So Mr.Smith, let’s talk about other undisclosed issues you’ve had, shall we?

      Rso: Well sir, I’d love to but it’s not confidential anymore.

      Doc: I’ll have to report your unwillingness to get help.

      Doctor calls PO.
      Rso gets violated and sentenced to more time.
      Doctor and PO have lunch together and high five as another one bites the dust. Satisfied, both promise to do it again soon and head back to work with a pep in their step. Both thinking, this is the beginning of a beautiful relationship!

    • ab

      Luckily its not that absurd, although it is close enough.

      After someone goes through court and prison and is on probation or supervised release or parole whatever they already got in trouble for is not going to get them in trouble again. If during therapy they admit new current conduct that new activity will almost certainly result in a new charge. What this particular case deals with is different.

      Someone decides without any legal pressure to see a psychologist for whatever reasons. During the course of working everything out the patient confides in the treatment provider some previous viewing, downloading, or production of child pornography. Under the law despite the intention of the patient to get help they are legally required to be reported for their prior activity. Serious reveals about harming oneself, others, or engaging in certain categories of illegal activities are subject to reporting to law enforcement. The system is not geared to help anyone other than those with an interest in keeping the “justice” infrastructure intact. More crime, more police, more judges, lawyers, jail and prison staff, probation and parole officers, more treatment programs, more drug tests, more polygraphs, more laws criminalizing conduct, more advocacy groups, more offenders, more victims, more everything to justify the existence and expansion of the system. Instead of fixing the original issue the system reacts quickly creating a ripple effect that generates new problems.

  9. Timmr

    Catch 22. Damned if you go to therapy. Damned if you don’t.

  10. Anonymous

    When “seek help” and “go to prison” are synonymous, everyone stays silent. Well done, intellectual pillars of society we call judges.

    I can’t help but believe this pattern is a deliberate attempt to keep the prisons filled.

    It warrants constant and vocal repetition that we are at stage 6 of the 8 stages of genocide: Preparation.
    http://www.genocidewatch.org/images/8StagesBriefingpaper.pdf

    The human cost of these laws is too high. The greatest tragedy of the planet, more than that of global warming, but coupled with that of constant war and turning a blind eye to poverty, will be that we sat idly by, content with the distractions of the immaterial and the inconsequential, while these bastards we call our elected officials sold their last ounce of humanity for a few votes, a padded expense account and a couple decades of imagined power.

  11. Anonymous

    A person who is ordered to a sex offender treatment program now has the ability to argue against the treatment since doing so would put them in direct conflict with the right not to self-incriminate by proxy of that treatment providers’ requirement to report suspected criminal conduct.

  12. Anonymous

    Also, is this a precursor to mandatory more therapy?

  13. New Person

    More fear-mongering decisions rather than actual researched based decisions.

    If no privacy is absolute, then why should there be any privacy at all? Why have lawyer-client privileges if “nothing is absolute”?

    This is a very slippery slope these three judges cannot foresee. Oh wait, they’re just following what Justice Roberts did. smh

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