The arrest of Donna Dull, 59, in Pennsylvania for developing pictures of her 2-year-old getting out of the bath has been the subject of national criticism and a lawsuit against the prosecutors. However, officials added to the controversy by appearing to defend the decision to charge the grandmother despite the fact that the charges were later dropped by Stan “The Man” Rebert after a public outcry.
Christopher Moore, a special prosecutor in the York County District Attorney’s Office insisted this week that the pictures (which were brought to the attention of police by a photo lab worker at Wal-Mart) fell into “a gray area.” Stan Rebert, York County district attorney, insisted that “What made them offensive was their graphic nature. A little girl with her bare butt showing, kind of looking over her shoulder. . . . It’s a difficult distinction to make. What’s a cute butt and what’s pornographic? . . . I think what she (Dull) did was stupid and in very poor judgment. It was an interesting case and I think we did the right thing.”
What is interesting is the complete lack of an objective standard coupled with a complete failure of prosecutors to use common sense. It is hardly comforting for local prosecutors to insist that the law is meant to be used against “perverts, not parents.” Moore explained that parents do not have to worry about arrest at the same time that prosecutors were saying that they acted correctly. Moore assured that such pictures do not fall within the undefined standard: “They’re keepsakes. They remind us of the way they were when they were young before they became a pain in the ass. It’s not what the (child protection) law was designed for. Your rights are not restricted in any form by the law.”
It took 15 months for District Attorney Stan Rebert to dismiss the charges after looking at the case “very closely.” Roughly a year and half for Rebert to determine that a grandmother taking a picture of a child after a bath is not pornography. Parents, however, should not be concerned because the prosecutors know pornography when they see it.
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