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IN: Sex offender questions meaning of ‘obscene’

[tribstar.com – 11/25/18]

When community corrections officers went to check on Nathaniel Bennett, who was serving an in-home sentence for sexual misconduct with a minor, they found a cellphone with videos of a couple having sex.
The phone also had what was described as “selfies” of Bennett and about 10 pictures of a nude woman.

The contents of the phone violated a court order which barred Bennett from possessing obscene material, prosecutors maintain. Bennett also reportedly failed to make court payments.

Marion County Superior Court Judge Lisa Borges removed Bennett from community corrections. He spent the remainder of his sentence in jail and is now serving three years on probation.

He’s appealing the revocation so that it is not on his permanent record, his public defender Valerie Boots told Supreme Court justices.

Boots argued that the photos and videos were not obscene since they were produced by consenting adults, bringing up a possible long-standing discrepancy in Indiana law.

Justice Geoffrey Slaughter said to Boots, “There’s nothing in the law of obscenity that says consenting adults cannot engage in obscene matter. Or that the photographs of that activity cannot be obscene as a matter of law.”

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  1. Ash

    if there was even role playing of non-consensual sex i am sure the article would have metioned such. 2 unquestionably consenting adults, not obscene..

  2. JM of Wi.

    In lieu of obsene, my probation restrictions were done using the word pornography.
    They also restricted camera use.

  3. frankgp

    The problem is we live in America. Everything is now obscene, nudity in any form is pornography. There is no longer any such thing as nude art. It is all considered disgusting and obscene. Not sure how we got here, but it is very sad. Somewhere people just lost their minds….

  4. Joe

    What entertains me to no end is that none of us – including all those objecting – would be here on this earth absent this aforementioned obscenity.

  5. someone who cares

    Anything and everything in the US that has to do with sex seems to be a major problem. Children should not see nudity or be exposed to nudity at all cost. Yet, just watching a “Carl’s Junior” commercial seems to be contradictory to what this country “believes”. In Europe, children are introduced to nudity and sex at an early age via sex education, nude beaches, topless lakes and parks, etc. I have yet to see a child from Europe being traumatized by this. To the contrary. I think, they learn early on that nudity is nothing bad (to a certain extent of course) and they are introduced to the real world in a healthy way. I enjoy watching “Rick Steve’s Europe”. Museums show nudity and it is, and should be, considered art. Nobody seems to be offended or appalled. Strange that sex crimes seem to be either non existent or minimal…..hhhhhmmh? I wonder why?

  6. mike r

    Not to mention most of us would not be here either since many of our grandparents and certainly our greatgranparents and beyond engaged in what today is considered child molestation of underage girls. Shit my grandmother on my mom’s side was 14 when they got married and 15 on my dafs side. My mom and dad got together when she was 13, idk about when they started having sex but I am sure it was not much older. But whatever…

  7. David

    Obscene?? How about Robert Mapplethorpe’s photographs ….. ask some one in Kansas or Iowa, then ask someone in Los Angeles or New York where museums and galleries have exhibited his works.
    Obscene?? Like the homoerotic drawings done by Tom of Finland whose house recently received Historical-Cultural Monument designation from the Los Angeles City Council? https://www.laconservancy.org/issues/tom-finland-house .

    I’m not sure the “I’ll know it when I see it” approach is workable anymore.

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