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California

Should psychotherapists be required to report patients who look at child porn?

For years, California law required psychotherapists to report any patient who admitted developing, duplicating, printing or exchanging material depicting an obscene act involving a child.

The therapists accepted that requirement. They regarded it as an obligation to report producers and distributors of child pornography.

But when the Legislature amended the law in 2014 to reflect new technology, many therapists balked, complaining the new wording required them to inform on patients who posed no threat to others. …

Ira Ellman, one of several scholars who joined a friend-of-the-court brief in the case, said the state law is based on misconceptions. …

“Half of the people who molest children don’t test positive for pedophilia, and a lot of people who do test positive for pedophilia are almost at zero risk for molesting a child,” said Ellman, a retired law and psychology professor from Arizona State University and now a scholar at UC Berkeley’s Center for the Study of Law and Society.

Full Article

Related

https://www.latimes.com/opinion/story/2019-12-10/child-porn-reporting-law-fails-victims

 

Join the discussion

  1. Steve D

    The often repeated “that children are exploited every time someone looks at obscene images of them” is BS and needs to be worn down.

    • Gralphr

      I find that very logic interesting since theres websites with videos of actual beheadings in the middle east, to include pictures, and other acts of murder and violence, yet those who view said material are not accused of murdering the victim again, nor charged with anything as if they had a part to play on the death. But then again, sexual crimes are seen as worse than murder in the Us.

  2. kat

    Whatever happened to patient/doctor, patient/ therapist, patient/counselor privilege?
    Unless someone is an imminent danger to themselves or others, what is said in counseling or a psychiatrist’s office is “supposed” to be confidential.
    To have laws where counseling professionals are forced to share a patient’s mental health issues with law enforcement authorities will do nothing but keep those who seek treatment from seeking it.

    Patients will begin to file law suits for breech of confidentiality, violation of HIPPA, etc.
    Therapists will begin to screen and refuse to take on patients with mental health issues of a sexual nature because they are afraid of the liability involved.
    Those who truly need a safe, therapeutic venue to talk about their issues will be left out in the cold.
    And this makes sense, how?

    • Facts should matter

      They care more about filling the prisons up with easy CP convictions and bloating the registry further with nonviolent, non-contact offenses than the do about actually protecting children. It’s a dangerous collective mindset to have when you can be ruined for a thought/sight crime. When it comes to this subject, even when someone that does NOT have sexual urges towards children, society has been brainwashed into automatically assuming that you do when caught with this content..

      So, if anyone were to disclose anything to a shrink on this topic, the outcome would be less than favorable. Once the first domino falls, they will never stop falling until your death. Because after the mere mention of anything relating to an association with CP, no one will ever like, trust or respect you again.

      • Will Allen

        Your last sentence is completely inaccurate. Decent people will like, trust, and respect you, whenever you deserve it. In fact, anyone who will never “like, trust or respect you again” is exactly the kind of “person” whom good people should not like, trust or respect. Your last sentence simply does not apply to decent people.

        I have a good friend that I knew for decades before he was arrested for molesting children. I never thought less of him. People have problems and they do things they shouldn’t. I’d rather have someone do what he did than shoot someone with a gun. One of those is clearly more dangerous and potentially much more damaging.

        People have problems and failures. Good people learn from it and don’t hurt people any longer. A good person knows that he/she is not any better than anyone else and if he/she lived the life that someone else did, it would be he/she that would be the child molester. A person should never dream that he/she could walk in the shoes of someone else and not behave exactly as they did.

        You know who should not be liked, trusted, or respected? People who support the ongoing, daily, continuing harm of other people – and that is people who support Registries. They are bad people today. They likely will be tomorrow and next year.

  3. SR

    I remember when this happened. It was towards the beginning of my program. All the therapists in the program hated it. They told us to speak in codes, like, “say you had a dream or ask us to leave and talk to the group” they even suggested seeing another person for the particular incident whom they trusted but wasn’t practicing anymore so he wasn’t subject to mandatory reporting.

    I also remember seeing an article here where Oregon tried to pass a similar law but effecting teachers and forcing them to disclose students confiding in them about nude selfies. The teachers hated for the same reason, knowing the students could potentially be prosecuted for CP.

    These mandatory reporting laws remind me a lot of all those bullshit abstinence only “education”. They were supposed to protect the children and blah, blah, blah. But actually resulted in much higher rates of STDs and teen pregnancies.

  4. Harry

    FBI are the nation’s largest disturber of child porn. https://reason.com/2016/08/31/the-fbi-distributes-child-pornography-to/. If, the cops are distributing they are looking at it.

    • mike r

      Yeah if we are supposed to believe every time someone looks at these pics it re-injuring the victim then it looks like the fbi is continuing to harm these kids everytime they look at or distribute the pics. So it is ok for them to harm kids as long as they catch someone else.

    • Dustin

      Been making that point in the treatment group I’m in for the past 2 years.

      The lady that runs it is of the opinion that those depicted in CP are re-victimized every time that video is watched. I never have and never will buy that. I point out that if that’s true, it also applies to the FBI/ICAC agents that push them, as well as the judges and juries that see them when these cases go to trial.

      She would claim not, that the difference is intent and purpose. To that, I said that’s like saying a person who hits a 15-year-old with a car going 40-50 mph would obviously injure or kill that person, but when a cop does it, it doesn’t leave a scratch. Completely asinine.

      She doesn’t want to talk about CP on the days I’m there anymore.

  5. Seth

    Of course Not !
    Just like if you peeped in a window or knew someone that did you should not be forced to tell….why ?….because every deed does not deserve punishment or fines…etc
    The main thing to remember is wrongs if we want to call it that can be made Right without the Law, judgement and law suits etc….
    In this case its important to note proffessionals are involved and answers to lifes problems should often be worked out in private Not a Mob or uncompassionate Legalistic approach that most of the time will lead to more problems and Condemnation…
    Mercy Comes Before Judgement !!!
    Every person should be looked at from the HIGHEST PERSPECTIVE….That is to say, No matter what we feel, think, believe the others deserve or have done wrong..!.well they are fellow HUMANS and are valuable and Worthy to be SAVED if i can express myself this way !
    Also, The People in Charge of Others Often cause Great Damages, one may say….well you still knew better, OH REALLY!
    YOU DONT KNOW ANYTHING ABOUT LIFE OR PEOPLE,,,
    The times, Family, Culture,The Wealth, The Laws,The Body we have…Parents, Education..et ..etc…ALL play a role in our Demise…So, Yes These are all Major Factors that Contribute to who we are/will become !!!
    Anyone can be servants to a Forced life!!!
    Did You choose your Parents?
    Your Body?
    Your intellegence?
    Your Officials?
    Do You Really Believe you Have Power in/over your life…GO AHEAD SEE HOW FAR YOUR FREE WILL WILL GET YOU 😏
    TRY to change anything …Economics, Statues, Constitutions, try to Steer the Technology, even a Simple PATENT,,,
    Wgat about all your KNOWLEDGE OF HEALTH!!!
    HEAL THE LITTLE PROBLEMS YOU HAVE🙏
    SOOOOO many things I can say about …GUILT…GUILT…GUILT!!
    Enjoy This Journey, but is it Really Your Journey!!!
    You Will Find Out ..ABOUT FREE WILL ..HA….!!!
    So, to end my words!!
    Yeah, The Higher Powers Have Their Share Of Blame !!!
    If Course Just as Powers Here and Now ….its to easy to Give that burden to the Masses!!!
    OH, BEFORE I GO WE ALL COULD JUST GO FOR A FREE TRIP TO HELL AND BACK ON OTHERS TERMS AND CONDITIONS…JUST TO HAVE THOSE HIGHER BEINGS TO PROCLAIM…EHH!!, SO IF SOME ARE SCREWED IN LIFE AND OTHERS ARE not So be It !!!

  6. Tired of this

    How is a person to seek help, then, for sexual deviance if the person can’t be honest with his therapist without risk of prosecution? If we as a society really want to prevent sexual offending, shouldn’t we be about actually helping people before they wind up in the justice system? The focus is always on punishment after the fact, which is very telling that it was never about prevention in the first place but was always about keeping the prisons filled.

  7. TR

    Take the Fifth Amendment for protection from self incrimination.

  8. NorthEastPENN

    So what is coming on board next for mandatory reporting.

    Doctor patient confidentiality is out the window for this subject. What’s next? How about Lawyer Client confidentiality going out next?

    • Seth

      Confidentiality went out along time ago…..thats why so many CONVICTIONS !!
      ALSO, THATS WHY MORE and more are ending up in TROUBLE and treatment and many private aspects of these mens cases are known to many…and Should Not have been…i.e. jail house journals and Self Incremination also a nightmare of Thoughts, Habits, Feelings, Emotions etc. etc… of these Trapped, Humiliated, often the Shell of men who are at the Rock Bottom of Life and should be Protected much More than Others !!
      Dont forget,,, this is lack of privacy or forced revalations is evidence of more outlandish LAWS. .i.e……Higher penalties and Deeeper Proclamations of Perpetrators Intents and un checked Desires ..of Course many other Heavy Handed Tactics, Policies etc…have derived from and will continue because all ethical, moral, Legal etc. Standards of justice/Balance, that is fairness in regards to defense and future prejudice and proper Ethical Codes with Regards to Privacy and Procedures that put BREAKS on Run A Muck Laws, so the Indefinite and All Out Intrusion of the Accused life details are Not Permitted without careful scrutiny.
      Etc. Etc.

      • Lynn Smith

        The government has brainwashed the public into believing that people who look at it will molest children. My spouse was convicted of this offense and the first thing that EVERYBODY asks is, “Did you ever touch a child?” We don’t ask people who own guns, “Did you ever kill or do you plan to kill someone?” We have all been brainwashed and I was just as guilty before my life changed so drastically.
        Yes, pictures of kids being sexually abused are awful; why not focus on finding those who are actually producing it (I know….that would be too hard). Dateline, 48 hours, 20/20, John Walsh’s Justice (which hell would have to freeze over before I would watch it) all make their livelihood from highlighting and detailing (often violent) awful crimes. I see no difference.
        My view of law enforcement and the government has been forever changed. Even if I had a Ring doorbell (again hell would have to freeze over) I would never use it to help solve crimes. Those days are over for me.

  9. Seth

    Confidentiality went out along time ago…..thats why so many CONVICTIONS !!
    ALSO, THATS WHY MORE and more are ending up in TROUBLE and treatment and many private aspects of these mens cases are known to many…and Should Not have been…i.e. jail house journals and Self Incremination also a nightmare of Thoughts, Habits, Feelings, Emotions etc. etc… of these Trapped, Humiliated, often the Shell of men who are at the Rock Bottom of Life and should be Protected much More than Others !!
    Dont forget,,, this is lack of privacy or forced revalations is evidence of more outlandish LAWS. .i.e……Higher penalties and Deeeper Proclamations of Perpetrators Intents and un checked Desires ..of Course many other Heavy Handed Tactics, Policies etc…have derived from and will continue because all ethical, moral, Legal etc. Standards of justice/Balance, that is fairness in regards to defense and future prejudice and proper Ethical Codes with Regards to Privacy and Procedures that put BREAKS on Run A Muck Laws, so the Indefinite and All Out Intrusion of the Accused life details are Not Permitted without careful scrutiny.
    Etc. Etc.

  10. David

    So their premise is that every time someone views a pic, it re-exploits the victim?
    Hmmm.🤔 That just raises a million questions: What if the viewer of that image is on the other side of the earth? What if it’s an old photo from 50 years ago? What if the photo depicts no abuse, only an unclothed person? What if it’s a photo of some frolicking kids at a hippy nudist camp, from 50 years ago, from the other side of the planet? Are those now older adults really suffering some amorphous sense of “re-exploitation”? Really?? Sorry, but that’s just ridiculous and stupid!!
    (Like a million other baby-boom kids, my family had some Polaroids of me and siblings in a bathtub when we were 5 or 6 years old. The pics were lost many years ago. But if some old codger found them and is jollying himself to those pics….. well, hold on…. 🤔 Yeah No, I’m not feeling it. Sorry, just not feelin’ that horrible “re-exploitation”.🙄)

  11. USA

    Wow! You can’t just say the guy molested children, but he had issues? I imagine the innocent children he victimized have issues now as well? In summary, I think Dr’s shouldn’t be allowed (Remember the Menendez brithers( to share personal info, unless the individual poses a threat to someone. They now state that up front!

  12. AERO1

    Honestly I don’t know why somebody wold even tell anybody especially somebody in a professional setting like a therapist/psychiatrist or doctor they watch child porn thats just crazy personality if somebody told me some crazy shiit like that I would also notify law enforcement immediately

    • Will Allen

      Really? Because Registries exist I won’t be notifying LE of anything. Unless I’m trying to use them as a weapon.

      If you see something, forget it.

  13. Mike

    Oh my gosh, just like the gentleman said. Dont tell your councillor your watching child porn (if you are) you should stop. Sorry but dont trust anything you hear and half of what you see. When i was on probation, i asked him if i can have a knife or sword an such and he said yes i could have them. I looked it up when i got home and i think he lied because while on probation you cant have any of them. I let my brother hold on to them and two days later he showed up with two other officers. He was suprised when he couldn’t find them. Me and the wife laughed after they left. He wanted to violate me but couldn’t. It’s still funny, if i didn’t look it up an trusted him, off to jail because its my responsibility to know all the rules an he would’ve denied saying that.

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