Pornotots: Teens Charged With Pornography For Sharing Photos Of Themselves

300px-several_mobile_phonesProsecutors have discovered another hotbed of child pornographers: Greensburg Salem High School. Prosecutors have charged teenagers with child pornography for sharing nude and seminude pictures of themselves over cell phones. The girls are 14 or 15 and the boys are 16 or 17. Pornographers all.

Capt. George Seranko of the Greensburg Pa. Police Department explains that “It was a self portrait taken of a juvenile female taking pictures of her body, nude.” Teachers seized the cell phone and instead of just calling parents, they apparently called police as well. Additional pictures were found. The lesson, Seranko notes, is “Taking nude pictures of yourself, nothing good can come out of it.” Ok, but where to the criminal charges come into the lesson plan? It appears that turning them into felons is the way that the good people of Greensburg educate their children.

This is a national problem of teens sending semi-nude and nude pictures to friends. Should all of these children be moved into the criminal justice system?

The girls are charged with manufacturing, disseminating or possessing child pornography while the boys face charges of possession. It seems like there is a need for adult supervision at the Greensburg police and prosecution offices.

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15 thoughts on “Pornotots: Teens Charged With Pornography For Sharing Photos Of Themselves”

  1. For the record, this case was resolved in juvenile court:

    GREENSBURG, Pa. — Criminal cases against Greensburg Salem High School students who were caught “sexting” have been resolved in juvenile court.

    All six students — three boys and three girls — were sentenced to curfews and community service, and they each got their cell phones back…

    “These are good kids that made mistakes … What they did was wrong, but they are not sex offenders,” one of the boys’ mothers said in an e-mail to Channel 4 Action News.

    “I think it’s actually really foolish for both the school district and the prosecuting attorneys to make an issue of this thing,” defense attorney Dante Bertani said. “I mean, it’s girls sending pictures of themselves to their boyfriends.”

  2. My little girl was sexually abused in a bathroom at Aquinas Academy, which is a Catholic school in Greensburg,Pennsylvania.She had a psychosocial evaluation(Forensic Interview) and a physical examination at The Allegheny County Child Advocacy Center( A Child’s Place at Mercy)and the doctors determined that she was definitely sexually abused by a maintenance man in the bathroom at school. The Greensburg Police detective that was in charge of the investigation told us that
    “no crime has been committed”.The Assistant District Attorneys asigned to the case said that because she is only five years old that it would be very hard to prosecute him and basically told us to get over it. This man is still working in the school. In Greensburg, Pennsylvania it is OK to molest innocent little children and destroy their lives, especially if it happens within the Catholic Diocese. District Attorney John Peck’s son is a priest.There is a sick,disgusting,pedophile lurking inside a school all day and doing whatever he wants to innocent little kids and the police and DA are worried about a couple of teens texting pictures to each other.There is definitely something wrong with the legal system in Westmoreland County!!!! The police and people from the DA’s office who passed the cell phone around and looked at the pictures of the kids are the ones who should be prosecuted as sex offenders!!!!

  3. Please consider where this situation took place. Greensburg, PA, located in Westmoreland County (an exurb of Pittsburgh), is home to the Richard Mellon Scaife-owned Pittsburgh Tribune-Review newspaper. Scaife is a billionaire whose money is largely spent on private, nonprofit foundations dedicated to conservative political activities such as the investigation that attempted to prove the “murder” of Vince Foster and the Arkansas Project, which ultimately led to the impeachment of President Clinton.

    Much of the population of this heavily Catholic county is quite friendly to Scaife causes. Greensburg can definitely be described as “Palin/Santorum Country.” If there is to be police activity dedicated to criminalizing the sexual antics of teenagers, it would not surprise me in the least to see it emanate from Greensburg, Pennsylvania.

  4. might as well take away digital cameras and all other recording devices!

    this line of prosecution is extreme it seems. poor kids are probably embarrassed. adults were not supposed to know–they are just hormone enraged teens!

  5. To me it’s like a endless re-enactment of a story society will ever tire of: first there is the relentless dangling of the proverbial apple — and then the requisite chasing-out-of-the-garden scene followed by some inordinate punishment.

  6. These teenagers can legally have sex with each other but can’t see each other naked on a two inch cell phone screen?

    The most dangerous part of these teens taking photos of themselves is not that the photos will get into the hands of ephebophiliacs.

    It’s also not the chance of some future embarrassment.

    No – the real danger to these teenagers is a government that would prosecute such behavior and leave the so-called offenders with a legal record that will brand them for life.

    … for life …

    How does this protect them?

    Our government is once again the true criminal.

    Perhaps if these young men professed an interest in becoming members of the clergy these Greensburg prosecutors might overlook such behavior? Or do they need to be 50 year old child molesters with the right clothing for such an exemption?

  7. Henry is correct. I should have used ‘pornographic material’ that is more limited in legal terms than what ‘obscene material’ entails. Obviously, courts of law have trouble with the distinction so my transgression should be understandable and I thank Henry for the correction.

  8. I have heard that once a person sends a photo from their phone to another person’s phone, it can be accessed online by anyone.

    Still, they’re just teenagers acting very foolishly

  9. Former Federal LEO suggests a different reason for holding self-produced pictures of teens unprotected by the First Amendment, namely that, even though no child molestation was involved, the pictures could come back to haunt the kids. Perhaps, but the Supreme Court has not ruled on the question.

    By the way, in Former Federal LEO’s posting, the phrase “obscene material” should be read as “pornographic material.” In the law, the word “obscene” has a particular meaning, which is irrelevant here. Pictures of nude teens need not be obscene under the legal definition, but Former Federal LEO is advocating that they be illegal merely for being pornographic, whether they are obscene or not.

  10. These prosecutions should may violate the First Amendment. The Supreme Court has held that child pornography is not protected by the First Amendment because children are molested it for the purpose of producing it. The Supreme Court has also held that child pornography that is not produced with a real child, such as virtual child pornography, is protected by the First Amendment. Pictures of real children taken by the children themselves, without the influence of adults, use real children, but do not entail child molestation. Therefore, they should be protected by the First Amendment. The Supreme Court, however, has not ruled on the question.

  11. The problem with not meting out substantial punishment for teenagers who would perform such acts is that had those photos reached the Internet then even people who accidentally accessed them, as through general image searches, could fall into the realm of legal prosecution for viewing obscene material involving underage persons. Those images could also have been printed out as hard copy photos and distributed to other high school kids would be at legal risk if they were over 18-years-old when they saw them.

    Kids are “growing up” too fast and this is one symptom of that trend. I cannot recommend the harshness of the punishment, although teenagers need to understand that the consequences of such acts could be severe, which ‘might’ then serve as a deterrent.

  12. They’re just a bunch of horny teenagers. I really don’t see how what they did is illegal. They’re all minors.

    Yes, it wasn’t very bright of them, but then again, they’re TEENAGERS.

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