Police Drop Bizarre Warrant in Child Pornography Case against Teen
Virginia police have dropped a bizarre warrant against a teenager in a child pornography case.
Family and civil rights activists accuse police of violating teen’s constitutional rights
Police in Prince William County say they will no longer enforce a warrant that would have required a teenager to take pictures of his erect penis as part of a child pornography case, according to the Lynchburg News & Advance. The 17-year-old boy has been charged with possessing and manufacturing child pornography because he allegedly sent explicit photos of himself to his 15-year-old girlfriend. Police said they needed the pictures as evidence in their case against the teenager.
Prosecutors obtained warrant
Although the boy’s family vowed to fight against it, prosecutors obtained the warrant from a magistrate. The bizarre request would have required police to take the boy to a hospital and inject him with chemicals in order to produce an erection, at which point they would take the pictures. Prosecutors planned to use those pictures to compare with pictures that were found on the 15-year-old girl’s cell phone.
After outcry about the warrant, police announced they would drop the request. They say they will let the warrant expire rather than subject the teen through the potentially humiliating process.
Critics condemn request
Despite the police dropping the warrant, the fact that the request was even made in the first place has drawn widespread criticism. The boy’s attorney described the charges against the boy as overblown and that the warrant would have put him through a traumatic and embarrassing process that no one, let alone a minor, should be subject to.
Civil rights advocates also accused the police and prosecutors of violating the boy’s constitutional right to privacy. While the police did not explain their reasons for dropping their request, they did say they did not have a policy of authorizing “invasive search procedures.” Meanwhile, the boy’s family plans to continue to fight to get the charges dropped.
Child pornography charges
As the above case shows, being charged with child pornography possession can lead not only to criminal charges, but also to severe humiliation and loss of reputation. While everyone accused of a crime has the right to the presumption of innocence, people accused of child pornography are often judged by society and the media before they have had their chance for a fair hearing in court.
Anybody who is facing a child pornography or similar charge should contact a criminal defense attorney as soon as possible. An experienced attorney can fight against a criminal charge and help make sure that the accused comes through the process with his reputation intact.
Keywords: Virginia, child pornography