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Police drop plans to photograph teen's penis in sexting case

Police Drop Plans To Photograph Teen's Penis In Sexting Case

Police in Manassas, Virginia looking into an alleged sexting incident announced Thursday they've decided taking pictures of a teenager's erect penis might not be necessary for their case after all.

The announcement follows a day of intense backlash after the investigator's idea was first reported. Essentially, prosecutors wanted to medically induce an erection in a 17-year-old so they could compare it with photos the teen allegedly sent to his then 15-year-old girlfriend.

Cue media outrage from sites like Slate and Motherboard.

"You've been in contact with prosecutors," said Chris Hayes of MSNBC. "Do they understand how this appears to everyone else? That this seems like a deranged jihad to people, to possibly ruin the life of a young man?"

Thankfully, that idea seems to have been shot down. A Manassas police lieutenant told the Associated Press they will not take any pictures of the suspect's erect genitals, and will let the warrant authorizing those pictures expire.

The teen in question is currently charged with producing and distributing child pornography.

WRC-TV reports his aunt and legal guardian told the press she's glad police have backed off their original plan, but is still pushing for the charges to be dismissed.

So what, if anything, have we learned from this whole mess? A writer for The Huffington Post thinks we need to re-examine how we handle sexting cases, especially when both participants are minors.

"We adults must not overreact -- from parents to police to prosecutors -- when we discover what our kids may have done."

And The Atlantic agrees, saying prosecutors should never have filed child pornography charges in this case.

"It equates exhibitionism with one of the most unspeakable crimes in existence. ... The utility and justness of sex offender registries declines rather quickly when kids engaged in sexting are listed alongside perpetrators of the latter crime."

The accused teen is due back in court by August 1.

Join the discussion

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xdrumline1 July 11 2014 at 5:04 AM

Hmm....seeing how he is considered a minor, a special prosecutor should be assigned to investigation AND charging EVERY officer involved in the warrant. Why? They have conspired to commit felonies by talking about, planning, & about to execute a plan to create child porn (the taking pictures of his penis).

& seeing how they ALL have admitted to this, it should be a slam dunk case against ALL of them.

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4 replies
Mike July 11 2014 at 6:21 AM

The police reaction is this case is extreme considering that no Catholic bishops are in jail for their role in the world's largest known child sex ring.

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1 reply
sidewinder3719 Mike July 11 2014 at 11:47 AM

THIS ONE SHOULD WIN A PULITZER PRICE FOR ORIIGINALITY AND TRUTHFULLNESS

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ladymulti July 11 2014 at 4:01 AM

So in other words.. "Kids don't virtually have 'sex' just go do it for realzies."

Got a better idea than police having to do something about this: Parents start parenting their children and actually be aware of things that their child is into. People always want to blame things on everything else when it involves their children not realizing that they allow the things.

Caught doing something stupid with a cellphone? Good-bye data and text service, have a voice line that will only call 2 numbers (911 and home). Problem solved.

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2 replies
sidewinder3719 ladymulti July 11 2014 at 11:50 AM

WHEN THE COPS ARE TOTALLY IN THE WRONG SOME FEW WANT TO REVERSE THE GUILT AND MAKE THE COPS LOOK IN THE RIGHT WHEN THEY ARE THE REAL BAD ONES ALL THE TIME .

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Nina ladymulti July 11 2014 at 12:48 PM

His 15 year old girlfriend sent her 17 year old boyfriend a topless or something of that matter picture and he replied with another and then HER mother found out and reported him. I blame her mother here for handling this in such a poor manner. I honestly think with these cases is that the parent doesnt like the other person and abuses the law to get their way.

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johnb219 July 11 2014 at 2:04 AM

I would love to see the police go through with their plan. Then have the kids lawyers sue the police dept, for having, producing and distributing child pornography.

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nikkitytom July 11 2014 at 1:59 AM

Both children were underage .... minors. Ridiculous to even prosecute the case let alone this clearly deranged idea of photographing the boy. What the hell is the matter with American justice? This country is going insane. Look at our movies, TV and popular culture ....what do you expect kids to experiment with? And then to further the madness with draconian punishment which is totally out of line with reason.

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3 replies
fchaux July 11 2014 at 7:28 AM

I understand the principal of the case but the erect penis pics request???those prosecutors and policemen are not any better than child pornographers

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1 reply
kathy fchaux July 11 2014 at 1:12 PM

I do not understand the principal of the case. Two minors caught being stupid. Why were the police even involved. What on earth is that prosecutor thinking? If it was to make a splash, they sure did.

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2 replies
bbhuey4213 kathy July 11 2014 at 3:43 PM

Because (if I understand it correctly), he sent a sexually explicit photo to a minor, which made him eligible to be charged. Plus, since he's underage too, he technically "distributed child pornography" when he sent the picture. I'm okay with them charging him (and if she sent pics of herself to him she should also be charged - fair is fair, after all. But since both are minors I would think that somewhere in the legal process someone could scrape up a quarter-cup of common sense and come up with some sort of plea deal where the kids get community service and/or counseling rather than jail time plus getting tagged with the label of "sex offender" for the rest of their lives...

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Elizabeth kathy July 11 2014 at 4:32 PM

They were involved because the girl's mother reported it as a crime.

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Gil July 11 2014 at 1:09 AM

Manassas Police or "Squirrel Squad". We always searching for "nuts".

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1 reply
Mike Gil July 11 2014 at 6:17 AM

They only need to look in a mirror.

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Kristen July 11 2014 at 8:49 AM

A 17-y.o. sending his 15-y.o gf naked pics shouldn't even be a legal matter at all...they're both underage. What the cops tried to do is way more perverse and completely lacking in common sense.

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2 replies
annemcl Kristen July 11 2014 at 9:01 AM

Wait until some little piss-ant sends a photo of his penis to your 15 year old daughter and then let us know if you still think it should not be a legal matter.

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1 reply
penst8fan annemcl July 11 2014 at 9:09 AM

she would learn, he would learn, I would learn...NOT a legal matter...a parental one!!

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Daddy O Kristen July 11 2014 at 5:05 PM

annemcl your what is wrong with America intolerant jerk

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Gil July 11 2014 at 2:12 AM

They just wanted to know if what they saw in the phone was for real.

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1 reply
JUST A DUDE Gil July 11 2014 at 4:33 AM

I can imagine if it was an African-American youth, a lynch mob of law enforcement kicking down the door!

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2 replies
Daryl JUST A DUDE July 11 2014 at 9:12 AM

In case you haven't noticed, they were pretty much doing that with the white kid so no need for race baiting right now.

Flag +1 rate up
Paul Castle JUST A DUDE July 11 2014 at 9:45 AM

PEASE TAKE YOUR RACIEST HEAD AND SHOVE IT WHERE THE SUN DON'T SHINE.

Flag 0 rate up
chuzzlawit July 11 2014 at 11:09 AM

Are you kidding me?!! This sex pervert has an underage girlfriend, who is 15 years old, and they are calling it a Jihad, because the Police are prosecuting him for it? What kind of nonsense is that?!! Throw this pervert, and pedophile in jail, and throw away the key!!

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3 replies
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