Cops Who Were Going to Induce Teen’s Erection Decide to Beat It

Readers, the prosecution knows when to let it go. (Yes, yes.) According to the Associated Press:

Police and prosecutors faced a wave of criticism following news media reports that they had obtained a warrant to take photos of the teen’s erect penis. Police wanted the pictures to compare against photos he is accused of sending to his 15-year-old girlfriend at the time.

On Thursday, Manassas Police Lt. Brian Larkin said the Police Department will not proceed with the plan to take the pictures and will let a search warrant authorizing the photos to expire.

I’m sure the teen’s guardian is right when she said that it was only the publicity that gave the cops pause. “They would have gotten away with this. They were not going to back off,” she said.

But instead, their red hot desire to create a pornographic image of a teen (in order to prosecute the teen for doing the same thing) now lies flaccid and deflated. And those authorities all puffed up with self-importance look small indeed. – L

A cop and his stick. (Deviantart)

A cop and his stick. (Ak.a. The Banksy Riot Cop, from DeviantART)

 

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38 Responses to Cops Who Were Going to Induce Teen’s Erection Decide to Beat It

  1. Jim Penrose July 10, 2014 at 8:25 pm #

    Looks like the police intended a stiff response to this
    “hardened” criminal.

    He’s looking at “hard time” in the “pokey”.

  2. Gina July 10, 2014 at 9:06 pm #

    Time to get back to HARD news. No more PUSSY footing around.

  3. Jim Penrose July 10, 2014 at 10:15 pm #

    I understand the officer who signed the warrant application has vowed to stick it out until it’s done, believing in a rigid application of the law.

    However it may take up to nine months to see any results from this procedure.

  4. dirk July 11, 2014 at 2:47 am #

    Um…no?

    The police said days ago that the that the allegations “lack credibility.” You just need to actually read the original article. It was clear from the start the cops didn’t think this was actionable.

    And like I told you in my comment to your original post…”this case is going nowhere. Go ahead and follow it.”

  5. Andy July 11, 2014 at 4:20 am #

    @dirk Reading todays new, it seems like they did had warrant signed by the judge. So the allegation were true. The police saying days ago that the that it “lack credibility” is essentially the police lying.

    There is a lot to see here. And unless they released him entirely, he is still charged with child pornography production. Which is still unfair, life destroying and nowhere near the happy ending.

  6. lollipoplover July 11, 2014 at 8:07 am #

    So he pulled out?

  7. E July 11, 2014 at 8:16 am #

    @Dirk, Andy is correct. The original article included quotes from the defendant’s side. The first response from the police was a press release that did not deny the existence of the search warrant (along with a bunch ‘we can’t comment’ , ‘ongoing investigation’). It wasn’t until last night that they admitted they would no longer pursue it.

    It was the backlash from the article (from everywhere) posted that created the withdrawal.

    The boy and his aunt were very brave to NOT just accept a plea bargain and stand up to this. I’m really impressed with them.

    (And it makes me really sad to say that just this week, my son was going thru old photos and found one of himself on the beach as a toddler red faced crying. He was completely naked but his private parts were blocked from view from one of his flailing arms. He thought it was funny and took a picture of it with his phone. I IMMEDIATELY said for him not to post it anywhere out of fear. It’s photo where NOTHING can be seen, and it’s of himself. But I honestly was fearful he would somehow/someway get in some sort of mess. Ugh!)

  8. Dirk July 11, 2014 at 9:19 am #

    Nope. In the original article:

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/local/wp/2014/07/09/in-sexting-case-manassas-city-police-want-to-photograph-teen-in-sexually-explicit-manner-lawyers-say/

    It says…” Despite the request by the prosecutor in court, Prince William County Commonwealth’s Attorney Paul B. Ebert said that police told him “these allegations [by the lawyers] lack credibility.”

    The police didn’t clearly want to pursue this matter, at least at this time or in this direction.

    I would not be surprised if additional charges are brought though. Because the press release (http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/local/wp/2014/07/09/manassas-city-police-release-statement-on-teen-sexting-case/) says that the 17 year old was repeatedly told to stop sexting. This isn’t an isolated instance with this individual or at large. Depending on your point of view the laws have not caught up with technology or underage individuals who are sexting are getting in trouble for sending sexually explicit materials over the internet. These aren’t family photos. If you can’t show them to mom it is porn. If the 17 year old was indeed repeatedly sexting (sending rated X pictures) and refused to stop he will be charged and convicted. The entire idea of inducing a boner as evidence was also indeed “really stupid.” That being said it sounds more like a tactic by their DA to force the defendant’s hand than an actual attempt to gain information. It all comes to this…if the 17 year old kept sending sexually explicit pictures after being told to stop in a clearly serious manner then he will get convicted of a relevant charge, if not. If this was a one off thing then he wont and the case will go nowhere.

  9. Dirk July 11, 2014 at 9:22 am #

    Hi E, the difference is that the photo you have is not sexually suggestive. Although there have been instances where stores have refused to print or reported individuals for similar pics (like at CVS).

  10. Andy July 11, 2014 at 9:34 am #

    @Dirk According to you, there is nothing to see, allegations were lacking credibility, the police did not told the boy they will do it and did not gained the warrant.

    At the same time it was “a tactic by their DA to force the defendant’s hand than an actual attempt to gain information.”

    So they did told what boys layer accused them of telling and they did gained warrant to do it. And you see no problem with it, because it was just a tactic to bully him into pleading guilty?

    Seriously? You consider that way of investigating things ok?

  11. Dirk July 11, 2014 at 9:48 am #

    The DA and the Police are not the same people. It looks to me like the Police did not want to move forward on this while the DA still does.

    It is indeed legal to try and force someones hand. Police and DA’s are allowed to lie (to a certain degree) when interviewing people in custody for example.

    I think the DA here is probably in over their head. It really does depend on how much the 17 year old persisted after being told to stop. However, there are many many reports of sexting being prosecuted under pornography charges. Also, even if the DA decides to move on the parents can file a civil suit and would likely win for harassment or whatever charge is relevant in the state.

    The kid shouldn’t have done what he did. He broke some laws.

  12. Jill July 11, 2014 at 9:54 am #

    This is good news for the boy and his guardian. They must have been terrified by the threat of his being forced to undergo a chemically induced erection (which, despite all the joking about boys and their erections, would NOT be fun.)
    We don’t know for sure what actually went on here, and whether he really was repeatedly told to stop, as the girl’s mother claims (because everybody lies, as the good doctor Gregory House repeatedly told us) but we’re missing the larger point, which is: if sending naked photos online is such a heinous crime that can get young people thrown in jail and put on the sex offender list for life, why are there no public service announcements about it?
    Why aren’t there PSAs warning about it on TV, and on billboards, just like there are for drunk driving, and gambling and drug abuse, and cigarette smoking and failing to use seat belts?
    If there were more public awareness of just how much trouble kids can get into by sexting, or looking at child porn online (and believe me, it can land them in A LOT of trouble) then parents could sit down with their kids and warn them not to do it, with very sobering facts behind them.
    The cost of one PSA would be a tiny drop in the bucket, compared to the massive amount law enforcement spends on investigating and prosecuting internet sex crimes, so why aren’t there any? Wouldn’t our tax dollars be better spent on education and prevention than on endless prosecution?
    What possible reason could there be for not getting the message out there, if organizations like the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children are really sincere about protecting children? And by that I mean all children, even the ones who don’t realize it’s a bad idea to send someone a picture of their penis.

  13. Dirk July 11, 2014 at 9:56 am #

    Here is a good article explaining the issue…

    http://www.mintpressnews.com/the-blurred-lines-between-sexting-and-child-porn/185934/

    It really is partly a problem of laws not catching up with technology. Like I said before. Technology is moving the experience from consensual to non-consensual. This wasn’t a young couple making out on lovers lane. This was a young man repeatedly doing something of a sexual nature after being told to stop.

    But this is more than just a case of two young lovers sending some glamour pics to each other. The parents of the 15 year old are claiming harassment.

  14. Dhewco July 11, 2014 at 10:06 am #

    Does it say anywhere if the GIRL told him to stop, or was it just the parents? Kids that age, often enough, ignore parental orders. If the girl was egging him on, there’s some mitigation there. 15 is young, but so is 17. Why isn’t the girl charged? He didn’t tell her to stop? Or his parents didn’t? There really isn’t enough child development difference between 15 and 17 to let her off the hook…unless there are mental developmental disabilities at factor here.

  15. E July 11, 2014 at 10:10 am #

    @Jill, you make very good points.

    There was a time when my HS kid went off to soccer camp with his team. There was a rumor among the parents that some girl had sent a “suggestive” photo to someone on the team and that it may have been fwd’d to others, etc. We talked to our son about it, tried to make sure he understood about child porn and how “everything is permanent” in regard to phones/internet. I imagine he believed us, but I’m certain that even WE didn’t understand what kind of legal trouble could have potentially followed the boys (of course, he never admitted to seeing or possessing the photo in question).

    We lecture our kids about underage drinking too, but that doesn’t always work does it? It’s really strange to think that an under age drinking citation has less exposure/expense/down stream effect than if you are sexting your girlfriend. Crazy.

  16. Captain America July 11, 2014 at 10:12 am #

    If this was a case involving a female. . . you would not hear the end of shrieking!

    Instead, we get jokes.

  17. Neil M. July 11, 2014 at 10:20 am #

    First, the puns in this post are making me giggle on a stressful morning. Thanks to all.

    Second, the real takeaway here is that what deterred the police and prosecutors was not the invasive absurdity of the situation but the fact that everyone found out about it. To me, that proves that democracy isn’t just about voting every two years or whenever; it’s about keeping track of what your officials are up to, and letting them know when you don’t like it. Yay democracy!

  18. Buffy July 11, 2014 at 10:24 am #

    Dirk, stop trolling. Really.

  19. Donna July 11, 2014 at 10:24 am #

    “Despite the request by the prosecutor in court, Prince William County Commonwealth’s Attorney Paul B. Ebert said that police told him “these allegations [by the lawyers] lack credibility.’

    The police didn’t clearly want to pursue this matter, at least at this time or in this direction.”

    Not even close. That is attorney doublespeak. This being said by an attorney.

    “The parents of the 15 year old are claiming harassment.”

    But is the 15 year old truly claiming harassment? That makes a HUGE difference to me. If she didn’t want the pictures, then it is a very different scenario than the parents telling them to stop, but them continuing against the parent’s wishes. One is harassment and one is typical teenage behavior. Considering SHE is the one who started it, I find it hard to believe that she suddenly stopped wanting the pictures unless they broke up.

  20. E July 11, 2014 at 10:40 am #

    @Donna — right. I went back to the original WP article and there are 2 diff Commonwealth attorneys mentioned. The defense attorney says this:

    “The case was set for trial on July 1, where Foster said Assistant Commonwealth’s Attorney Claiborne Richardson told her that her client must either plead guilty or police would obtain another search warrant “for pictures of his erect penis,” for comparison to the evidence from the teen’s cell phone. ”

    The search warrant did exist as confirmed by today’s news.

    So the one on the case was threatening the kid and another was willing to be quoted as Dirk showed.

    Later it said:

    “Despite the request by the prosecutor in court, Prince William County Commonwealth’s Attorney Paul B. Ebert said that police told him “these allegations [by the lawyers] lack credibility.” He said he would look into the matter further.”

  21. Donna July 11, 2014 at 10:41 am #

    Or I guess I should say that since the girl started it, I find it hard to believe that she suddenly found the pictures offensive. I imagine that she may have asked him to stop because she didn’t want to get in trouble, but that is different than asking him to stop because she didn’t want to see the pictures. In neither respect is it great that he continued, but one is typical teenage behavior that needs to be handled but certainly not criminally and one is sexual harassment.

  22. Dirk July 11, 2014 at 10:44 am #

    Not trolling. I don’t think the laws have caught up with the technology. Meaning this issue has not been thought out and police and DAs are doing the best they can with the laws on the books. Underage individuals should not be taking pics of each other nude for many various reasons.

    I will say this though and really you should think about it. One of the concerns from law enforcement is that if you do not prosecute these cases it will create a loophole for criminals if they technically do not take the photographs. So it is the age of the person in the photographs that matter to law enforcement. In most published cases if two minors are “dating” or what have you nothing comes of it no matter how loud the parents scream even if it does involve sexting, but when it becomes persistent or one sided law enforcement usually becomes more involved. It’s true. Which is why I am not shocked at how the police of DA are acting.

    I have no problem with law enforcement following up on these things, but I do personally think that the laws need to catch up to the situation. They will. But it will take a long time.

  23. Dirk July 11, 2014 at 10:47 am #

    @ Donna and big E!

    Right, your last two points are right on point. I’m not trolling. But as with many blog posts jumping in before you actually know everything usually means you are trying to score points with a group or make a point. Without the case going to trial you don’t know all the facts. Like if the 15 year old and the parents are on the same page. Is this guy a jerk stalker? Has he done this before? What was going on in the images? Was her image that she sent just a duckface selfie? Etc etc.

  24. Dirk July 11, 2014 at 10:54 am #

    Oh!

    But here is something interesting. The DA declared the case nolle prosequi. Latin for no longer wish to prosecute basically. It is kinda rare to use and means the DA thinks the current charges can not be proven or that the defendant is innocent.

  25. Donna July 11, 2014 at 11:06 am #

    “Underage individuals should not be taking pics of each other nude for many various reasons.”

    There is a huge difference between things that you should not do and things that should be illegal to do. There are many situations where, despite it not being a great thing, teens taking nude pictures of each other should not be illegal.

    “One of the concerns from law enforcement is that if you do not prosecute these cases it will create a loophole for criminals if they technically do not take the photographs.”

    How? Consent is a defense to every other law and it has not shut down the judicial system. The problem is that society needs to get out of their puritanical mindset and understand that pubescent teens are actually interested in sex and can consent. It isn’t a great idea for them to do, but we hold teens and adults accountable for bad decisions all the time. Good god, if we arrested everyone involved every time someone made a bad decision, we’d all be in prison.

    “In most published cases if two minors are “dating” or what have you nothing comes of it no matter how loud the parents scream even if it does involve sexting”

    I don’t know if that is true in published cases (I think it is wrong, but certainly can’t confirm that), but it is definitely not true in the real world. We see these case frequently and they are always prosecuted. Luckily, the ones that I’ve been involved in have all been in juvenile court which means that the teen(s) don’t have to register as sex offenders in our state, but that could always change.

    17 year olds are adults for criminal purposes in my state. I do think that I may be able to get pretrial diversion in the case of a 17/15 year old boyfriend/girlfriend, but try to get a job with a child porn arrest on your record, even if there is no conviction.

  26. Donna July 11, 2014 at 11:12 am #

    “The DA declared the case nolle prosequi. Latin for no longer wish to prosecute basically. It is kinda rare to use and means the DA thinks the current charges can not be proven or that the defendant is innocent.”

    Really Dirk, leave the legal analysis to lawyers. Nolle prosequis are not remotely rare and happen by the thousands throughout the country every day. I have 3 files on my desk that were nolle prossed (see, so common that we have a term for it) a couple weeks ago off a trial calendar that need the final paperwork so that I can close them.

    Nolle prosses simply mean that the DA no longer wishes to prosecute. They happen for many reasons, many of which have nothing to do with the innocence of the accused.

    Further, it is my understanding that the DA intended to re-file the case. I could be wrong about that. I think I remember reading it somewhere, but am not going to go back and look.

  27. Dirk July 11, 2014 at 11:29 am #

    Oh. Ok Donna. Uou have 3 out of how many? 4? a 100? What do you call rare? Hundreds of thousands of court cases are filled each day. You think a couple thousand of those doesn’t count as rare?

    Why do nollo prosse as opposed to declination of prosecution? Why not just ask the judge to dismiss the charge? Why not offer a DPA? Please. Go ahead.

    Look, follow the case and see what happens. I don’t think Lenore is providing justice by making stuff up here. It does a disservice to fr.

    How is this a free range issue? Sexting is free range? The banksy image is supposed to indicate what? That we live in a police state? The parents brought an issue to the cops. The DA likes it and will move forward. You can’t just throw up one side of something. You can’t just say parents arrested because 12 year old goes to the mall and then not mention that the 12 year ditched a 5 year old in macy’s so she could go try on clothes for a half hour.

  28. marie July 11, 2014 at 11:51 am #

    Hurray for the Internet and bloggers!
    Hurray for common sense making an appearance…finally.

    Jill, I loved your comment.

  29. Donna July 11, 2014 at 12:22 pm #

    Dirk, Nolle prosses are fairly common. Criminal attorneys don’t consider them remotely rare. Great, but not rare. I’m really not sure why you want to argue that point with me.

    “Why do nollo prosse as opposed to declination of prosecution? Why not just ask the judge to dismiss the charge?”

    A nolle prosse IS asking the judge to dismiss the charge! That is all that it is. We use the terms “nolle pros” and “dismissal” fairly interchangeably. See, there is a whole process here (about which you appear to know nothing, but insist on acting as if you know something) and the exact same thing has different names as the case proceeds.

    The DA is most often not involved in the issuing of warrants for arrest. That is done by the police. Unlike what you see on Law and Order, the DA and the police don’t usually work intimately together to solve crimes. The police may very occasionally contact the DA about a questionable case, but that is even rarer than nolle prosses. In the vast majority of the cases, the DA knows nothing about the existence of any case until the already executed warrant(meaning someone has already been arrested) hits his desk.

    Once a person is arrested, the DA can choose to go forward with the charges or file a Dismissal and dismiss the warrant. At this stage of the legal proceedings, a dismissal is called “a Dismissal.” In this case, they chose to go forward with the charges and indicted the case before the Grand Jury. Once they do that, the only way to dismiss the case is by filing a Nolle Prosequi. Same exact thing, just a different name.

    There are many reasons for cases being nolle prossed that have nothing to do with guilt or innocence. Of the 3 I have right now: One was really innocent. One had two cases pending and we agreed to dismiss one in exchange for a guilty plea on the other as part of a plea bargain. The third defendant was guilty but a needed witness couldn’t be found prior to trial so no more case. They can re-indict within the statute of limitations if the witness shows up, but she won’t.

    “Why not offer a DPA?”

    The DA’s office has stated that it intends to refile the case. Why would they offer DPA if they intend to continue to prosecute the case? It is not uncommon to re-indict cases. Generally, it is due to imperfections in the original indictment or changing the charges, but there are other tactical reasons. If this is done, the first case then has to be nolle prossed. It is less common to nolle prosse a case before you re-indict, but it appeared to happen on the eve of trial and that is not unheard of.

    Further, I have no idea if there is even a statute for any kind of DPA in this jurisdiction, if it is available for felonies or if the judge before which this case is pending before will take a DPA even if it exists. Or, heck, if it was offered and denied. Many, many consideration go into what happens in cases that have absolutely nothing to do with guilt or innocence.

  30. Ariel July 11, 2014 at 4:03 pm #

    “The teen is charged in juvenile court with felony counts of possession and manufacture of child pornography.” That’s from the AP, so they did have enough sense not to try him as an adult for manufacturing child pornography using his own body. From all the times I’ve read of charging on sexting, that’s not always the case.

    In this case, the 15 year-old-girl also manufactured child pornography. No adult was involved, she did it for another teenager, a “boyfriend”. Still, why no reporting on her being charged? Locally, at my daughter’s HS, a very similar case happened. Boy and girl sexting, girl’s parents go irate and pursue charges, even when the police wanted to let it go, so the police charged both teenagers. Supposedly both kids were lucky, and it was pled down to no time on the sex offenders list. Take it with a grain of salt, comes from my daughter and her friends, but it does have a point to it regarding unthinking parents pursuing charges against one when both could be charged.

    My understanding of the purpose of child pornography laws was to stop the sexual exploitation of minors by adults, not teenagers being stupid. If an adult implores, entices, or coerces a minor to manufacture child pornography, then the adult has sexually exploited a minor so I don’t see a loophole. Finally, ala Donna, if we continue to criminalize stupid, we will all be in prison. Just because you shouldn’t do something doesn’t mean it’s criminal when you do. Especially for minors.

  31. Warren July 13, 2014 at 10:29 am #

    Donna,
    I thought I was bad. I’m apologizing for my previous arrogance and comments. Dirk is the real deal pain in the ass.

  32. Warren July 13, 2014 at 10:33 am #

    If the girl is never charged, it would make me believe that her parents are somehow connected to law enforcement.

  33. Amanda Matthews July 13, 2014 at 1:11 pm #

    “Why aren’t there PSAs warning about it on TV, and on billboards, just like there are for drunk driving, and gambling and drug abuse, and cigarette smoking and failing to use seat belts?”

    Maybe because it is not as universally agreed that it is wrong/bad the same way hard-drug use, drunk driving, etc. are. And because there aren’t any alternatives to offer like there are with the others – if you’re addicted to gambling or smoking, there’s help. Instead of drunk driving, get a ride home. But if you’re a teenager that wants to see nude pictures, there’s no legal way to do it.

    I would never tell my teenagers not to do it… I would tell them not to get caught.

  34. Dirk July 14, 2014 at 9:16 am #

    Nol pros was used because of very specific reasons, just like you said.

    BUT…it is used in less than 20% of filed cases. Kinda rare.

    Follow this case and you will find out more. I am not outraged by any part of this case other than the facts that a 15 year old girl supposedly took explicit pictures of herself and that a 17 year old supposedly reciprocated and then escalated the situation even after being told to stop.

    Oh, and let me repeat nol pros is used less than 20% of the time.

  35. Warren July 14, 2014 at 2:45 pm #

    Dirk,

    Statistical interpretations is not your strong suit. 20% or 1 in 5, is not rare. 1 in 5 would be considered in the area of common occurance.

    No matter what the situation, or activity, if something happened 1 out of every 5 times, it would be expected, and predictable. Rare does not even come close to expected or predictable.

  36. Dirk July 15, 2014 at 9:13 am #

    OMG. They did it so they wouldn’t have to cross double jeopardy and in new york state it is never used.

    I have no problems with the way the police or DA are handling this case.

    See how you feel when some man sexts your 15 year old daughter.

  37. Warren July 16, 2014 at 12:24 am #

    Dirk,
    I just happen to have a 15 yr old daughter. And if it happened the same as this, where the girl initiated the sexting, then my reaction would be……..

    You started it, take responsibility for it, and grounded for quite awhile.

    I would then speak with the 17 yr old boy, inform him this will stop. Should he not stop it, then he best run and hide. The way I see it, if you think you are old enough to keep sexting my daughter after I have warned you to stop, then you are old enough to take the beating you have coming to you, from dad.

    But by no means would my daughter be seen as or treated as a victim if it was her own stupidity that started the whole thing.

    This is why a few friend and myself, all dads of girls, have taken the parenting stance of we do not care if the boys like us, we don’t care if they respect us, as long as they are afraid of us, all is good.

    Fear to a teenage hormone raging boy is a far better motivator than respect.

  38. Dirk July 16, 2014 at 1:21 pm #

    I just don’t think this was a one and done type of thing. I think he was more of a stalker thing. That being said I get where you are coming from.