Police request for pic of teen's penis widely condemned
It's awkward enough to get arrested for allegedly sexting your girlfriend, but things may be getting even more awkward for a 17-year-old Virginia boy.
From WRC-TV: "Back in January, police seized 17-year-old Trey Simms' iPhone and iPad. ... The teen says police took naked pictures of him as evidence and they have a new search warrant out asking for intimate photos."
If you didn't catch that, The Washington Post clears it up. "Manassas City police and Prince William County prosecutors want to take a photo of his erect penis possibly forcing the teen to become erect by taking him to a hospital and giving him an injection," this according to the teen's lawyer.
Basically, the 17-year-old boy was arrested for sexting with his then 15-year-old girlfriend and police plan to use pictures of his erect penis as evidence against him. The mother of the girlfriend originally tipped police off about the sexting. He's being charged with possession of child pornography and manufacturing child pornography.
But, that's not really the part that's getting all the attention. Just look at the headlines. Various outlets are taking various approaches - with just about everyone scolding the authorities. (Via New York Magazine, Gawker, The Inquisitr)
BGR writes, "Cops assert powers in teen sexting case that should scare the hell out of you."
And WebProNews goes with, "Dumb Sexting Case Gets Even Dumber As Cops Try to Photograph Teen's Erect Penis."
As for the legality of this? Well, it's a bit questionable.
According to The Washington Post, the teen's court-appointed guardian said "the irony is incredible" and called the police's approach "child abuse."
And University of Pennsylvania law professor David Rudovsky told ThinkProgress that putting the boy through this is "too invasive in terms of his personal dignity. ... Therefore the police need to have good reason, it needs to be a serious case and they need to have need for this evidence. I don't think they have either."
The Washington Post reports Manassas City Police refused to comment, the lead investigator never returned the outlet's phone calls and no one except the Prince William County magistrate has seen the affidavit.