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National

MN: 14-year-old sends her crush an explicit snap – and now faces child porn charges

[gomn.com]

St. Paul, Minn –

Teenagers sext.

That’s generally what research has determined – it happens, it’s not uncommon.

One study found more than half of its respondents sent explicit messages while under 18 years old; and 28 percent included a photo.

But a Minnesota 14-year-old who Snapped an explicit selfie to a boy at her school could be forced to register as a sex offender because of criminal charges filed against her, the ACLU of Minnesota said.
What happened

The girl (not identified because she’s a minor) goes to school in Rice County. She had a crush on a classmate, sent him an explicit snap – and he shared it with others.

According to the ACLU, the girl has now been charged with distributing child porn based on these state statutes.

“I’m not a criminal for taking a selfie,” the teen said in the ACLU’s news release. “Sexting is common among teens at my school, and we shouldn’t face charges for doing it. I don’t want anyone else to go through what I’m going through.”

It’s a felony that carries a punishment of up to seven years in prison, up to a $10,000 fine, and potentially having to register as a sex offender for 10 years after the case is over – even if she pleads to a lesser criminal charge.

If the case goes forward and she’s found guilty, it could have a crippling effect on “her entire future — her housing, college, employment, and more,” the ACLU argued.

Read full original article

 

Join the discussion

  1. AJ

    Sadly, Jane Doe faces the fact that courts have long held to the standard that the law is to be read as the Legislature wrote it, not as they (perhaps) intended it. Absent any gray area or age exception, she’s probably stuck. This is one more fine example of how messed up things are, and which can only help our cause.

    • New Person

      Didn’t a President say the only way to get rid of a bad law was to enforce it exactly as it was stated? Was that Abraham Lincoln?

  2. G4Change

    So the laws that were originally designed to “protect the children” are now aimed at hurting them. Totally asinine!!!!

  3. TS

    Well, it fits in with the Iowa district attorney who did the same thing earlier this year to that young lady. Maybe they’re hunting buddies because they’re in neighboring states. Maybe the district attorney in Minnesota could go after the entire school since she implicated them stating this is a common action among students.

    Washington and North Carolina said the same thing about minors in their states on this topic.

    Would say recommend following Colorado’s lead but it doesn’t seem to make a difference a year later with another school s****** scandal like there was last summer.

  4. Ron

    What happened to prosecutorial digression? I thought universities taught people how to think and to be critical thinkers.
    I bet what is really happening is we have a prosecutor who wants to become a politician and is looking to make a name for him/herself at the expense of a girl’s future. Callous and cold hearted, void of sympathy or compassion, self-important and egocentric would be good adjectives to describe this prosecutor.

  5. David

    I hope the “victim Jane Doe” will be able to somehow reconcile with her “pornographer Jane Doe”. I know it’s unlikely, but since they are one-in-the-same, I hold out some hope of a satisfactory resolution.
    Seriously, this is so f**king insane, all these jackass lawmakers in our country need to get thrown out on their asses!!! 😡

  6. Dustin

    You’re all overlooking one thing. Nothing – NOTHING – matters more to a prosecutor than his conviction rate. Offenders don’t matter, their families don’t matter, even victims don’t matter. What does matter is that his resume reads something like “100% conviction rate of 50,000 felonies with convictions of 2 million years.” Never mind that they can pick and choose which cases to prosecute, the 50,000 felonies are based on 2,000 incidents, and 1.2 of those 2 million years are concurrent. Add in unfettered control of plea bargaining, public defenders who have never seen a plea offer they recommend against, and private lawyers who won’t defend sex offense cases (but are still more than willing to take money for it), and whatever numbers the DA spouts is considerably less impressive.

    Sex offenses are particular favorites of DAs these days because there is no burden of proof. The allegation alone, even if recanted or disproved, is sufficient. Constitutional rights of any other kind of defendant (presumption of innocence, confront accusers, etc) have been withered away in practice if not law. And judges rarely (if ever) deviate from recommendations and pretty much rubber stamp whatever the DA wants.

    Look at the cases where wrongfully convicted SOs are later exonerated – Brian Banks comes to mind. Do they ever accept responsibility for wrongfully convicting? Do they ever acknowledge their own abuse or disregard of evidence, law, or procedure? Do they even apologize to the accused? Perhaps they do, but I’ve never seen it. They always fight for even wrongful convictions because their precious conviction rate takes a hit if it is overturned.

    Also look at the Casey Anthony case in Florida, not a sex offense but still illustrative of the average DA mindset. Elected DAs normally prosecute high profile cases themselves. But the elected DA in this case knew it was going to lose so she gave it to an ADA that she wanted to get rid of. And it worked – he resigned shortly afterward. Anthony was convicted and sentenced to probation on another charge, and was continually and repeatedly harassed for several years afterward by the probation department. Probably still is.

    I’ll bet my right arm that the first DA to successfully prosecute a minor as an adult for sexual exploitation of a minor (the exploited minor also being the defendant) was given massive plaudits and salutations from his peers and left most (if not all) other prosecutors nationwide scratching their heads wondering, “Damn, why didn’t I think of that?” I defy anyone to find any other circumstance where the accused and the victim is the same person.

    • David

      Kudos, Dustin. 👏 That is a very lucid and accurate representation of our judicial/criminal prosecution system and its horrendously misguided DA reward scheme.

    • kind of living

      @Dustin ,,,,, ,, + 10 Bro you knocked out of the park

    • David Kennerly, Not Fully Contained

      Yes, I agree! Re: “private lawyers who won’t defend sex offense cases (but are still more than willing to take money for it)”. Boy, ain’t that the truth?” Yes, I can think of one, shining example, right now. Several of us contributed to a friend’s civil commitment defense about seven years ago or, I should say, to his lawyer, ostensibly a standout defense attorney who has become a minor celebrity (Google: “Curb Your Enthusiasm” and “murder exoneration” or just go here: https://www.forbes.com/sites/robcain/2017/10/05/the-curb-defense-how-larry-davids-show-helped-clear-an-innocent-man-from-death-row/#1b9a6c139a47 . The up-front cost was $100K until he decided, after a number of months of doing almost nothing, that he’d rather not take it on. He refunded $20K only, having only reviewed the original conviction files and written some recommendations. It’s the second-most stupid thing I have done. I should add that my friend went back to having a public defender who got him a win on the civil commitment and out of the system completely, i.e. no supervision of any kind.

      • Dustin

        David,

        Regarding your friend’s case that you brought up, I’d bet the attorney’s review of the original conviction wasn’t very thorough and his recommendations were a copy/paste job from another case. If he were challenged, he’d probably have a pretty hard time showing how he provided $80,000 of representation.

        PDs are just as bad as DAs in a sense. They will lie, mislead and arm twist to get defendants to take whatever plea offer the DA makes. For defendants who go to trial under their representation, the PD will only do the barest minimum to avoid an ineffective counsel appeal. I can’t help but wonder how often the defenses presented by PDs are actually written or at least approved by the DA prior to trial. Maybe not prevalent, but definitely not uncommon.

        While in prison, a friend asked me to look over his case. He was represented by the PD, and the only thing from his record that he had was an order from his judge setting his resentencing hearing. In a footnote on that order, the judge wondered how he (the defendant) could be taken to the police station, had his clothes confiscated, and put in a jumpsuit and yet not under arrest in the legal sense and free to leave had he wished. It never came up in trial, nor was it brought up on appeal. I never saw his case record, and only know his appeal was denied because that opinion was published by Justia 3 years later.

        DAs will throw the PD a bone every now and then so they can keep their accreditations up (for the state bars that require it), but usually they throw away the drunken disorderlies, chronic jaywalkers, and other harmless misdemeanors. Almost never felonies, and certainly not sex offenses.

        Also remember that public defenders are public defenders because they are not very good in the first place. Most take the job because they can’t make a living on their own. No corporation or prominent private firm wants an attorney with significant public defender time on their resume because public defenders don’t litigate, make an argument, or investigate anything beyond reading an indictment and police report. Virtually every move they make is likely approved or directed by their presumptive opposition; not a very profitable characteristic for a private practice attorney.

        If the public defender beat your friend’s case, I can only assume the case was an extraordinarily weak one. While the private lawyer could have beat it as well, he has to consider how being “the guy that got that child molester off” could affect the rest of his practice. Again, he’ll take the money, but the last thing he wants is to win that case.

  7. New Person

    ========
    From the article:
    1. Jane Doe is charged with dissemination of child pornography. If she is found guilty, she would be forced to register as a predatory sex offender for the next ten years, and the career paths open to her as an adult could be sharply limited.

    2. The ACLU argues in its brief that the prosecutor is abusing the intent of the child pornography statute. It is intended to prosecute people who endanger or victimize a juvenile. If there is no victim, then there shouldn’t be a prosecution.
    ========

    1. The registry wasn’t supposed to hinder your life. Yet here we that career paths as an adult could sharply be limited. They’re projecting this to when she’s an adult. That means adults are affected in finding jobs.

    2. If there’s no victim, then there shouldn’t be a prosecution. Problem here is that there are statutory laws. So there’s always going to be a victim, according to law. Even if a minor doesn’t want to press charges, he or she can’t b/c they have no capacity to do so – even if there’s no real victim. As someone stated above, the DA wants convictions and doesn’t care about people getting hurt who were never hurt to begin with.

  8. counting the days

    Welcome to our world, sweetheart.

  9. Robert Curtis

    It doesn’t address the boy that shared her images. I’m sure he’ll be getting the full hammer of the law without question. I pray the boy and girl involved doesn’t loose hope and commit suicide. We must NOT loose hope!

  10. matthew

    Wouldnt the boy be charged as well for possession and producing since he was sharing?

    • David

      * distribution, not production (He did not take the photo [production]; he shared the photo [distribution].)

  11. David

    I say “Put the victim in prison! That’ll teach her a lesson!” 😡
    …. no, wait, that doesn’t make sense, does it? Putting victims in prison? Hmmm, something might be terribly wrong here. 🤔

  12. TS

    Doesn’t this fall in the area of sexual harassment? If an adult sent photos like this, it would.

  13. Nondescript

    Dustin, the victim can not also be the accused because the State is the ultimate victim of all crimes. The truly injured party is peripheral and merely a temporary cooperator in assisting the State achieve its universal goal. That is why criminal cases are entitled The State vs. , The Commonwealth vs., or the People vs. Unfortunately, the State must often manufacture “victims” and “perpetrators” to hold onto power and justify its very existence, hence all the laws the minion legislators must add to the books every year.

    • Dustin

      Nondescript,

      A crime is defined as an illegal act punishable by the state or other government authority, who define what illegal acts are. THAT is why criminal cases are State vs. x, People vs. x, etc., not because the state is the “ultimate victim.”

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