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National

Washington Post: How an Arizona couple’s innocent bath-time photos of their kids set off a 10-year legal saga

[floridaactioncommittee.org]

Lisa and A.J. Demaree’s decade-long legal ordeal started with, by all accounts, an utterly innocent family moment.

In 2008, the couple took their three daughters, then ages 5, 4 and 1½, on a vacation to San Diego. They snapped more than 100 photos during the trip, like parents do, including several of the girls playing together during bath time. When they returned to their home in Peoria, Ariz., they dropped the camera’s memory stick off at a Walmart for developing.

Within a day, a police detective came knocking.

A Walmart employee had flagged the bath-time photos as pornographic, the detective told the parents. One showed the girls wrapped in towels with their arms around each other; another showed their exposed bottoms.

The Demarees said they were harmless shots of the children goofing around, no different than what you’d expect to find in any family scrapbook. But police and social workers launched a full-blown sex abuse investigation, raiding the couple’s home and putting the girls in protective custody for a month while they interviewed dozens of family members and friends about whether the Demarees were child sex offenders.

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Join the discussion

  1. Michael

    Anyone remember the McMartin trial?

    Moral panic leads to witch-huntery. So, now when a parent takes a photograph of their children nude, it must be that there is some sexual deviancy at play.

    I don’t know which is sicker. The sexual deviant, or the ass hat running around with a mallet and wooden spike.

    This is America?

    ….

    • Paul 2 One bad apple spoils the whole damn bunch on

      Just read that can’t believe they did that shit there would be no pain and anger worse then what happened to them I know how it feels to a small degree but I caused it. I am glad they can sue them but look what they had to go thru to get there shows the political police state we live in I hope more people put these freak, municipal welfare, freaks in their place.

  2. C

    This story always gets me steamed, utterly incensed at the cascade of gross incompetence, government overreach and a host of other injustices to this family.
    Sadly, here in CA we have the opposite end of the spectrum in a case involving social workers who repeatedly ignored the horrendous, heart-wrenching abuse of an 8 year old little boy who died because of the profoundly evil actions of his parents and criminally incompetent lack of action by maladroit government social “workers.”

  3. The Static-99R Is A Scam

    “The panel held that the social workers were not entitled to qualified immunity. Viewing the facts in the light most favorable to the plaintiffs, the social workers did not have reasonable cause to believe the children were at risk of serious bodily harm or molestation when they removed the children from their home without judicial authorization.”

    http://cdn.ca9.uscourts.gov/datastore/opinions/2018/01/23/14-16207.pdf

  4. mch

    A shocking amount of child pornography changes hands every day in the dark corners of the Internet and whatever other channels pedophiles use to traffic sexually exploitative images of minors, as evidenced by the steady drum beat of arrests and sting operations by law enforcement. “Rarely a week goes by,” the FBI wrote in a memo last year, “that a child pornographer is not charged or sentenced for federal crimes related to the sexual exploitation of children.”

    Especially from the FBI’s own website.

  5. Jack

    Jesus tap dancing Christ. Will this lunacy ever end?

  6. AlexO

    So much happiness that they won and that the two social workers were stripped of their immunity. What an insane overreach. Then again, its not surprising at all when teens and preteen are regularly prosecuted and registered as sex offenders for no real crimes.

  7. R M

    August 29, 2008: Guilty until proven innocent.

    January 23, 2018: Found Child Protective Services weren’t entitled to qualified immunity and that they violated the parent’s and children’s constitutional rights.

    10 years (at least) of pain and suffering for the parents and the children but they, especially the children, will be haunted forever by being taken away from their parents for NO REASON…no laws were broken by the parents and they were never arrested or charged.

    ALL BECAUSE SOMEONE SAW AN INNOCENT PICTURE OF A CHILD’S BUTT. Fear mongering at it’s best.

    • Trish

      No, it’s because of the police state! Do you know the police can search your home and your self and not have a warrant the can forget to read you your merranda rights and brutalize you and say ressisting arrest, and the can charge you and not tell you why and hold you indefinitely interrogating you without a lawyer, and on and on just on the pre-tense you are a terrrrrrorist ! Get in your bank account, in your email and tap your phone line or cell all in the name of the law doing their duty….without a court order or real clear evidence and on and on and on! Hollllllly Sheeeeet! Hunches, hypothetically congered lies, hear say, myths, outright lies based on accusations, theories unsupported claims, fear and emotional witch hunts, conjecture, leading the witness, such as children, preping them to be victims and charge others with scary sensationalism and teaching to betray another for innocent or immature or minor errors! The police now can stop and search based off their own assessments and judgements without real oversight and regulatory as well as real life supervisors regularly with trainees of officers to ensure the public is not abused or mistreated! How many people believe that cops have abused and misused authority and they could have and easily can have corrective measures in place! But it’s easier to hurt the public than correct corrupt policies and practices and procedures, but the people still do not hold authorities accountable and responsible yet the ex criminal takes all the blame and punishment!

      • R M

        This whole mess could have been avoided IF the police didn’t see the photos as exploitive, which they weren’t as no charges were filed. So, yes Trish, the police did overstep their boundaries. As you said “… but the people still do not hold authorities accountable and responsible…”. People DO hold the authorities accountable… you, I, and the rest here are doing just that. How do we change the way authorities treat us? We find and elect officials who aren’t out for the money or re-election status, we fight tooth and nail against them and the law, we stand by our rights, and we change the public’s perception of right versus wrong.

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