Criminal defense attorney Douglas R. Slain (pictured) has a great post about an outrageous misuse of child pornography laws. The target, of course, is male–in this case Alex Phillips, a 17-year old high school student from La Crosse, Wisconsin. Slain writes:

“Phillips may not be the brightest crayon in the box, but his story is one that once again calls into question the legislative sanity of some of the overreach of our laws regarding what constitutes ‘child pornography.’

“It turns out that Phillips at some point in the last year was friendly with a 16-year old girl called HLK (14 months his junior) who sent him two explicit photos of her completely naked in different positions. She took the photos with her cell phone camera and sent them to his email address. Phillips, apparently miffed that HLK had started seeing someone else recently, decided to post the photos (with lewd captions) to his MySpace account.”

I condemn Phillips’ vindictive spurned lover routine, but authorities went way, way overboard here. Phillips is being charged with two felonies–possession of child pornography and sexual exploitation of a child under 18 years of age. Both of these are wildly inappropriate for the situation. (He’s also being charged with misdemanor defamation, which I think is fair.)

The Phillips case is another example of law enforcement using laws designed to entrap adults who are exploiting children as a way of punishing/jailing teen boys. Child pornography laws are supposed to target adult men exploiting 9-year-old children. They aren’t supposed to target teen lovers.

Similarly, statutory rape laws–whose purpose is to prevent 30-year-old men from having sex with 15-year-old girls–are increasingly being used to target teen boys who have sex with girls who are in similar age brackets. One good example can be found here.

Read more about Alex Phillips here.

Glenn Sacks,

[Note: If you or someone you love is faced with a divorce or needs help with child custody, child support, false accusations, Parental Alienation, or other family law or criminal law matters, ask Glenn for help by clicking here.]

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