General Question

gorillapaws's avatar

Should fake child porn be punnished as severely as the real thing?

Asked by gorillapaws (25300points) April 20th, 2008 from iPhone

There’s a guy in flordia that’s being charged with posession of child-porn but he basically pasted the heads of kids onto legal adult magazine pictures. Since no kids were actually harmed, should this guy have the same punnishment as someone that forced kids to paricipate in sexual acts? The ACLU is saying it amounts to a private fantasy(a very sick one) which ought to be protected by the first amendment since you can’t charge someone based on their thoughts.

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66 Answers

ishotthesheriff's avatar

i think they should leave the guy alone. yeah, most of us might think it’s disturbing, but that’s his choice and he’s obviously not harming any kids by pasting pictures . . .
the government doesn’t follow amendments.

babygalll's avatar

Fake porn?? He still cut out the heads of these innocent kids and used them. That’s harm enough. What if it your your child’s head pasted on a body of an adult? How would you feel? That is very disturbing. Even if this guy was looking at kids in the park it’s their faces he is seeing not the child’s body. It’s obvious that this guy is fantasizing about the kids face and not the adult body. Kids were harmed by getting their head cut out and pasted. They just don’t know it and neither do their parents. I am sure if they did know they would take action!

gorillapaws's avatar

I’m not saying his behavior isn’t disturbing, but I would much rather have him do this to my (hypothetical) kid than to kidnap and do bad things to on camera.

CameraObscura's avatar

I think they should charge him and give him a plea agreement whereby if he pleads guilty, he will face no punitive punishment but must register as a sex offender. Technically he has broken no law I’m aware of but I believe people in his community have a right to know.

One small detail you left out was the fact that this is a principle of an elementary school and the reason he was investigated was because people were complaining he was a little overly touchy-feely.

Edit: He should also lose his job, of course.

wildflower's avatar

Are people now going to be prosecuted for having ‘impure thoughts’? – Are we talking about the catholic church or legislation in a modern society.

Yes, this person should be removed from their position as they clearly do not set the example that’s expected, but still, no children were actually compromised outside of this man’s head…....so did he really commit a criminal act by fantasizing ?

gorillapaws's avatar

I’m thinking of a different case, the guy I’m thinking of was involved with a church thing that involved kids, dont think it was youth group though.

ishotthesheriff's avatar

you serious? he didn’t do anything to any body. if he does. . . then steps can be taken. but it’s his right to have freedom of his thoughts.
if any action were to be taken, it could be counseling, but only if he thinks his thoughts are “wrong”.

CameraObscura's avatar

If they were simply impure thoughts, no one would know about it. This was more than that. He’s a principle in an elementary school and he’s got pictures of small children he superimposed onto the bodies of naked adults. I’d call that manipulation of pornography to create child pornography.

Again, parents were complaining he was too “friendly” with their children, which is why he was investigated. Obviously he’s got no moral compass whatsoever and because he’s a principle of an elementary school, I’d have no problem calling that intent. I’m tired of people worrying more about the perpetrator’s rights than the victims.

wildflower's avatar

Who was the victim in this case?

Let me add to that: If I post a picture of myself on the internet and someone decided to print it and do god-knows-what with it…...can I claim to have been violated?

tehbomdiggity's avatar

Both creation and possession of child pornography is illegal. I think what you described would be both creation and possession of child pornography.

hearkat's avatar

As a survivor of childhood sexual abuse, I am especially disturbed by child pornography. I am not familiar with this case. You make it sound as though he did this for his own purposes in the privacy of his own home… in which case it should NOT be prosecuted the same as if he were displaying or distributing it. However, I would want reassurances that he would be considered suspicious and NOT allowed to work with children in any capacity.

hearkat's avatar

I was composing my response when you posted that he’s a principal. He should be considered a high-risk person at the very least, and removed from that position.

CameraObscura's avatar

Who are the victims?

The kids who are undoubtedly going to find out they were fodder for this loser to masturbate to. The parents who are undoubtedly going to find out their children were fodder for this loser to masturbate to.

wildflower's avatar

but is it against the law to think about it?

This is IMO a moral/ethical matter more than a criminal one and I agree with the idea of counselling and possibly the reg. sex-offenders although he hasn’t had sex with anyone he’s not supposed (as far as we know) and that may just encourage mob-mentality and persecution…......maybe, just maybe a really good solicitor could argue this constituted home made pornography that he can then be charged with possessing.

hearkat's avatar

Were the photos of kids that attended his school? Then he should be prosecuted. I thought that he might have cut photos out of magazines or advertising circulars…

@wildflower: The thought is not illegal… but these are actions that were carried out based on those thoughts/desires.

hearkat's avatar

@CameraObscura: Thanks for the link.

He absolutely should lose his job and should not be permitted to work with children ever.

gorillapaws's avatar

you guys are discussing a different case than the one I’m thinking of in which there was no complaint of him acting out in any way. So for arguments sake, if someone make this junk, but never publishes it or acts on his impulses beyond making fake child porn, do you people who still think its a crime feel that he should recieve the same punishment as someone who actually made kids do sexual stuff on camera?

wildflower's avatar

@gorillapaws: absolutely not.

CameraObscura's avatar

Do you have a link to the story? How was it discovered that he was creating child pornography?

gorillapaws's avatar

on the iPhone now I heard it on the radio in Tampa FL. Sorry I dont have a better reference than that. The details really shouldn’t matter if were talking about a hypothetical situation.

CameraObscura's avatar

Well actually they do, especially when you’ve got people who are so concerned about the guys right to continue masturbating to child porn that they’re willing to throw their full support behind him before knowing a single fact about the story. If you get a link, let us know.

CameraObscura's avatar

So if I’m understanding this correctly, I should be free to commit crimes (strict definition or not) as long as the victim is unaware they’ve been wronged. I should be able to take a picture of a young girl in the shower as long as she doesn’t know about it so she won’t feel violated?

wildflower's avatar

Unless a law has been broken it is not a crime. It may be morally wrong, perverted or psychotic, but not a crime.
Also, if committing a crime is to be extended to what goes on inside people’s heads, how would you police it? And if it is equally harsh punishment to think about a crime as it is to commit it – why should people hold back on committing it if the thought has entered their minds….?

xxporkxsodaxx's avatar

Well its like crushing up asprin and selling it on the streets saying that it’s cocaine, its still illegal. And if they decided that it wasn’t a crime I would put money on it that they would try and find something to pin him, like it didn’t follow regulations or something in that general area.

ishotthesheriff's avatar

ok first, the poster of the question NEVER linked to any story, it was you, name of a pretty good band btw (camera obscura), that brought some story on the news into this.

yes, i think child porn is wrong. if this guy is a principle of an elementary school? something’s up. . . besides his dick.

but i am completely against arresting someone for their thoughts, and freedom to think as they’d like.
i still don’t really know what’s going on in this thread, so i’ll just try and answer the actual question . . .

some guy pasting pictures of kids onto a magazine? that’s his privacy.
if he’s a principle of an elementary school? he shouldn’t have that job..
actually molests children? in this day and age, he should be charged. in my beliefs? the community should decide on punishment for his perverse actions.

wildflower's avatar

maybe they can catch him on copyright laws…...........in which case he probably will be punished as severely…

xxporkxsodaxx's avatar

@ishotthesheriff, now see thoughts and doing something are completely different, what you described as thoughts were actually doing something. Pasting their faces into a magazine is doing something, and I said earlier, when you do something posing as something else you still get in trouble for it. My friend was recently kicked out of school because he was taking Dramamine in a recreational manner, even though the drug is legal to by over the counter, it is illegal to use it in large quantities to get high and because of that, he was put into alternative school and put on parol. Now if you think that he was supporting it like white supremacists supporting dominance of the white race then you are right and wrong, just saying it is ok is different then doing something irrational to support it.

ishotthesheriff's avatar

well, yeah you’re right. i was just thinking about pasting the kids faces on a magazine as compared to actually molesting children.

spendy's avatar

If he were daydreaming about pasting their faces onto a magazine, that would be different. He actually did it, though. Sort of like people who “make plans” to blow things up or rob a bank. They take it a step further than just daydreaming about it when they draw up the plans. Law enforcement, at that point, takes action…just like they should in this case. The entire thing is kind of sad…the fact that anyone believes this guy (or any guy, hypothetically speaking) should be allowed to do this under the First Amendement. It’s not a thought, it’s actions (as xxporkxsodaxx mentioned). Let’s liken this hypothetical situation to that of a busy intersection – do a few crosses need to go up next to the road before we install a stoplight? Pitiful. Anyone creating “fake” child porn should be prosecuted to the same extent of the law as those who create the real thing. And the arguement that if it’s done in the privacy of your own home it’s okay…well that’s insane. Since when does anyone with bank blue-prints and a few semi-automatics get away with posession just because it was under their roof and the bank heist never really manifested? The First Amendment makes no allowance for that one. lol

ishotthesheriff's avatar

i agree with pretty much everyone about how it’s wrong. i’m pretty sure the only reason we’re disagreeing is b/c i’m an anarchist and my views on how this should be handled are different.

xxporkxsodaxx's avatar

@thesheriff, I thought that you were because of your symbol, but the reality is that we are ruled by a central government with laws that we must abide. Even though ones opinion can vary, it is truly not up to us but more up to one person or a jury (which ever is ruling).

spendy's avatar

@ishotthesheriff – I get the whole anarchist thing (don’t appreciate the concept/belief, but I do “get it”). I’m also going to take a stab in the dark here and guess that you don’t have kids. :)

wildflower's avatar

This thread makes me think of the movie The Minority Report and that strange piece of art with a baby’s head on a barbie doll’s body.

spendy's avatar

@wildflower – lol, you’ve got it! I’ve just been thinking about 1984 by George Orwell. Not that there was child porn in it…just regarding the “Thought Police”.

wildflower's avatar

bingo! I don’t have criminal thoughts but I’m sure its best for everyone that certain things in my head stay where they are :)

spendy's avatar

I bet that could be said for MOST of us! I know I’m included. lol

sndfreQ's avatar

On principle, the “court of public opinion” is not something I support, so I say, let the courts and the jury of his peers decide his fate.

This is how our system of laws and government in the United States exists, and as heinous or despicable as these acts may seem, this man is a U.S. citizen and has the same unalienable rights as the rest of us.

Until he has been tried, the evidence heard, and judgment passed by a court of law, he is entitled to the same freedoms and liberties of any citizen.

delirium's avatar

just wanna say that I completely agree with sheriff.

babygalll's avatar

@gorillapaws: I don’t think you would like it if this was done to your “hypothetical” child.

NO parent in their right mind would stay silent if their child’s head was being cut out and pasted onto adult photos for someone to masturbate too!

gorillapaws's avatar

@babygall, I’m not saying i would like it, I never have. Personally I’m not sure what to do in this situation, for me it’s trying to find a balance between crossing the line and prosecuting people for their personal thoughts/twisted fantasies, and protecting the community from someone who’s obviously sick in the head.

But the main question that only really a couple people have answered is if we should treat this kind of fake porn the same as if the dude actually was molesting kids and making porn by abusing children. My gut tells me it’s not as bad of a crime/perhaps deserves a separate type of charge that is less severe, like second degree child pornography or something like that, where the guy wouldn’t have to serve the same number of years as someone that was abusing children but would still have to register as a sex offender.

ishotthesheriff's avatar

you probably don’t appreciate the concept b/c you don’t understand it. i’m not much (usually..) of a riot-starting guerrilla warfare anarchist, but of peace and anarchy.
and yes, you might “have” to abide, but i’m positive the “law” doesn’t always (i personally would say mostly) abide by said rules.
the idea that we are ruled by a central government is true, but also bullshit and repressing. but this is way way way off topic. i’ve already supplied my answer.

and i just wanna say i miss delirium.. haha

babygalll's avatar

I have never heard of fake porn. Porn is porn. If this guy is cutting out faces of these innocent children then he is doing harm. He is molesting these kids in his own disgusting way looking at their faces as he masturbates and fantasizes these poor little children. The same punishment should be given to anyone who is involved with any type of child pornography!

ishotthesheriff's avatar

babygall, what are your views on other types of pornography? say “everyday” playboy? etc..

babygalll's avatar

Anytime pornography involves children then it’s wrong and the person should be punished! If he chooses to look at playboy or watch movies by all means go ahead, but once it involves an innocent child that’s where he crossed the line.

ishotthesheriff's avatar

why should other porn be any different? yeah it’s usually consensual, but well nvm. that’s just my opinion. porn’s wrong and demeans women…

babygalll's avatar

I agree you at that, but if someone chooses to do it. It’s up to them, but scroll back up to the question. The question wasn’t about degrading women. That’s a whole other topic. This one is about the children!

delirium's avatar

No matter how twisted his fantasies are, he shouldn’t be arrested for it. Creating porn of that was a better outlet than the other possibilities. If that’s how he had to get his rocks off, at least he did it without molesting anyone.
Its not directly harmful. It doesn’t matter how inappropriate it is…. there is NO way that he should be prosecuted the same way as real child porn would be.

If you catch a kid snorting flour instead of cocaine… should you arrest him for it because the idea of it was there?

sndfreQ's avatar

@babygall: actually, there is quite a bit of fake/staged role playing in the world of porn, in which the pornographers portray fantasies that fulfill some sort of ‘deviant’ paraphilia that would under “actual” circumstances be a criminal act of physical and/or mental violence on the ‘victims’. These forms of pornography are still legal in this and other countries, provided that they are simulations and not actual criminal acts.

As delirium points out above, many regard the availability of these materials (as objectionable as they may be to most), to be both an acceptable and safe alternative to having people run about and committing these acts on real victims, in real life.

Another fact of these forms of pornography is that their audiences are drawn to the idea that they “seem real”, and this is part of the psychological “game” that gets them off; the more authentic they seem, the more sexually gratifying they are to their audience. Violent acts (S&M/bondage), and even darker scenarios (staged ‘snuff’ films), are fabricated with the intention of engaging the fantasy, and the ‘seeming authentic’ is an integral part of the ‘scene’.

As dark and perverse as it is to most people, as long as no criminal acts of violence are actually committed, they are legal and legally protected under the law.

Now, with computer technology and photo manipulation (as the original question posits), the question in this case is going to be one of intent, and if intent by way of simulation is tantamount to commission of a criminal act (possession of child pornography versus simulated child pornography).

Personally (and I’m not an attorney nor do I have a background in law), I have not heard of any precedence-setting cases like this one, so I’m sure this case will make for some very controversial news as it unfolds…

Now here’s an interesting tidbit (threadjack): In “Hollywood” style films (and television), illicit drug use, murder, acts of domestic violence, mental torture, etc. are often portrayed (and gratuitously in many cases), in order to serve the narrative and artistic vision of the story; In many comic strips (or graphic novels if you prefer), violence is often portrayed in excruciating detail. In manga / anime, extreme violence is glorified and heightened to an art form; in all of these cases, would the directors, producers, actors, and the buying public all be considered to be accessories/perpetrators of ‘potential’ crimes?

These examples of popular media are also ‘staged’ for the purpose of gratification (entertainment in this case), so should the writers of these stories be prosecuted for their thoughts? And let’s not even start with video games (GTA anyone?)

Remember the film “Heat?” and the connection many made with the North Hollywood shootout/massacre back in 1998? Does anyone know what happened to the actors, the directors, and film company that produced the film in that case? This is a rhetorical question, but to prove my point…

It’s an issue of civil liberties, above all else, in those cases, and this one. Now, if by circumstance the identities of those children are ever leaked to the public, the perpetrator of the act will most certainly be subject to civil liability, but that remains to be seen.

spendy's avatar

@sndfreQ – well put. I have officially jumped the fence…

ishotthesheriff's avatar

ah! so well said!

gorillapaws's avatar

@sndfreQ nice post, and great points. So you would be against criminalizing this behavior to a lesser degree than the real thing and just having it be a legally permissible behavior like other forms of simulated illegal activity?

Perhaps they could criminalize the act of actually photographing children with this secret intent to be the criminal activity. That would be a significant departure from the examples you gave since in those cases all participants have knowledge of what they’re participating in, whereas in this case these kids clearly don’t.

That would raise the loophole of someone photographing for legitimate purposes only to later get the idea to use them for paraphilic purposes since proving intent in court is such a difficult thing to do. I do think that the community at large should be made aware of people who are engaging in this type of behavior if it is discovered simply because protecting the children in our community from sexual predators is a priority, and the risk that these people may progress from this behavior to worse ones seems fairly significant. Perhaps the line should be drawn at using images of children they know vs. random images of children from catalogues or the internet or whatever. The first indicates that they are actively engaging in paraphilic behavior in their community whereas the latter seems more restrained and indicates that the guy is less likely to act on his twisted fantasies.

Again, though I don’t think it’s nearly as severe as the real thing. These people are clearly “holding back” by doing this stuff and if the punishment for this behavior is the same as actually molesting children then what’s to stop them/discourage them from just going all the way to that step?

xxporkxsodaxx's avatar

@delirium, the point is that he did it and after being found out, it did directly effect the parents. And I don’t know about you but if I had kids and if their faces were being photoshopped on to something thats gets looked at in the bathroom by the person who is in charge of them everyday, I would want that person in jail. Now that is my opinion obviously but another thing is that it was also porn in general that was at work, and even if it was regular porn then I am sure he would have been fined or fired. The fact is that it is not socially accepted by the majority of society so it is said to be wrong, and even though you have a different opinion I respect your right to think that way with the only hope that someday we all come to an agreement.

CameraObscura's avatar

So now that everyone’s already acquitted the guy and tried their hardest to defend him (civil liberties, CIVIL LIBERTIES!!!), you may be interested in reading the actual story and getting some details:
http://www.floridatoday.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20080420/BREAKINGNEWS/80420007/1086

He’s being charged with 91 counts of child pornography. A passerby found 90 images of children with their heads cut off in a trash can off the interstate. Police found his address in the trash with the pictures, went to his home and found the pornographic pictures.

“A Kathleen man has been arrested for allegedly taking photos of young girls and pasting their faces onto photos of nude women, thus creating child porn.”

These were pictures he took himself, of children he supervises as a Sunday school teacher.

So there you go. You’ve got the pedophile, you’ve got circumstantial evidence to show he knew he was doing something wrong, you’ve got enough hard evidence to sink a ship, you’ve most certainly got victims (90 of them, plus the families) and then you’ve got the members of Fluther, who believe he’s done nothing wrong and should be free to walk the streets.

So what is it, the connection to Macintosh? I mean, this has got to be one of the most liberal groups of people ever amassed not associated with the ACLU or communism. Again, why are you more worried about this pedophile’s rights and well-being than that of all the victims and potential victims?

ishotthesheriff's avatar

I’ll be honest, you’re a bit of an ass.
I completely understand why you’re so confused as to why some of us are saying he has rights.
He is guilty and has all that evidence against him. That’s all right and fine and dandy.
We, at least I, weren’t talking about that specific case. I was talking about freedom to think and desire as one likes.
But! this guy, in the link you just posted (emphasis on the just posted), is a danger to children and should be dealt with.
How he should be dealt with (in my views) and how he will probably be dealt with, is another discussion.

delirium's avatar

I can’t just GA sheriff. I agree too much with everything he just said.
Absolutely and utterly.

wildflower's avatar

If the evidence shows that an actual crime (violation of a criminal law) was committed, he should be prosecuted.

Having said that, I still don’t believe a pervy amateur photo-manipulator should be punished in the same way as a rapist.

CameraObscura's avatar

I still fail to see when the conversation turned to your “freedom to think and desire as one likes” because it never did. In both stories I posted as well as the original question, “he” was never being prosecuted for his thoughts. If they were merely thoughts, no one would know of them. So why is it that now the story has been posted, your viewpoint has changed?

I didn’t comment after gorillapaws confirmed it was the wrong story because I had no foundation opon which to have an opinion but you all continued to argue in “his” defense (without knowing anything of the actual story), which I believe to be quite sad. If I sound like an ass, that’s why. You can’t just throw your support behind someone and claim they have an unalienable right to possesion of homemade child pornography without knowing anything about the actual events.

I’d be willing to bet the vast majority of people in America, where the crime took place and where he will be prosecuted would agree with me, yet on Fluther, I’m on my own. But that’s okay, we can’t all be sitting around patting each other on the back in every thread, shaking hands and saying “great answer!” when next to nothing has been contributed to the actual question.

gorillapaws's avatar

@ CameraObscura: The main question isn’t directed at any PARTICULAR instance. That’s why I said the details don’t matter. Of course in any particular instance of this behavior there will be important details that determine the person’s guilt or innocence. But I was asking was if, as a concept, it should be punished the same way, so we could apply that to the currently linked articles but also to any other cases that come about.

I don’t think being concerned with civil liberties is a particularly liberal thing. It’s trying to uphold the values that our founders fought and died to protect. It’s the core of what makes America great, and it also means that you have to tolerate a lot of crap you don’t like, such as letting the KKK have a march through your town (the KKK isn’t exactly “liberal”). The ACLU has defended a kid’s right to wear a pro-religion t-shirt to school, or making sure he has the right to pray in school, both pro-religion and not really liberal.

I haven’t really heard you address any of our specific points directly either, it seems like more of a general rant about how perverts deserve to be punished. NONE of us like these guys, I do hope you realize that.

delirium's avatar

CameraObscura: You don’t need to be so rude about everything. You also don’t need to make broad generalizations. You’re not contributing to the actual question, so you’re being a huge hypocrite to say that we aren’t.

ishotthesheriff's avatar

who was the original question asker? oh right right, my bad.

prick.

i answered exactly as gorillapaws asked.

CameraObscura's avatar

Gorrillapaws, (delirum) I’m sorry but you’re backing out of your question to try to discredit my statements. Read it again.

“There’s a guy in flordia that’s being charged with posession of child-porn but he basically pasted the heads of kids onto legal adult magazine pictures. Since no kids were actually harmed, should this guy…”

How am I not contributing to the actual question? Which specific points am I ignoring? I’ve provided links to the actual story and given my opinion on it. Just because we have differing opinions does not mean I’m all of a sudden “not contributing”.

Being concerned with civil liberties, when you are a lawyer or supporter of the ACLU is most certaily a liberal endeavor. I’m aware of a handful of cases whereby they’ve defended typically conservative ideals, but you’re making a mountain out of a molehill.

gorillapaws's avatar

Read the header. That’s the line above what you’re quoting. that’s the “MAIN QUESTION.” I gave an example so people would have a reference, but several times now I have mentioned how the specifics don’t matter, and that either case would work. how about the point I made a couple posts back:

If both types of porn are punished the same what’s to discourage them from going all the way to actually molesting kids instead of “holding back?”

Another point that was made was that if simulating illegal acts itself becomes illegal, than we have to prosecute the producers of tv shows, movies, artists etc. How and where do we draw the line. Clearly these are more interesting questions than if the guy is a piece of shit or not (clearly he is).

You’ve yet to discuss why the punishment ought to be the same for both types of crimes. I think MOST people if asked would answer that one is a much more severe crime than the other and should be punished more severely. All you want to do is discuss if the guys in these examples are guilty, which we can’t really intelligently do since we lack all of the facts of the case. I’ve yet to hear you mention a single thing about why his punishment should be the same or different—convenient use of ellipsis in your quote by the way.

CameraObscura's avatar

I honestly had no idea the “real” question was whether someone with homemade child pornography should be punished as severely as someone who “forces a child to commit sexual acts” because it’s really not a very interesting question. If that is truly the case, this was a very poorly worded question.

“should this guy have the same punnishment as someone that forced kids to paricipate in sexual acts? The ACLU is saying it amounts to a private fantasy(a very sick one) which ought to be protected by the first amendment

The reason I amended that when I originally quoted it is because you’re misrepresenting what’s going on and I chalked it up as a simple mistake you made when you typed out the question. The ACLU would not be defending someone who “forced kids to participate in sexual acts”. It has nothing to do with the specific case you pointed out or the “MAIN QUESTION”

The answer is obvious enough. Of course they are completely different scenarios and should be handled differently. We didn’t even get into the simulating acts vs. commiting acts until 2/3 of the way through this thread when sndfreQ mentioned it. I was simply responding to what most everyone else was talking about.

gorillapaws's avatar

This guy as well as others are currently being charged as if it was the same thing. That’s why I brought up the examples. In other words if convicted they would have the same punishment as if they were actually molesting kids. It seems like a disturbing legal trend since at least to me, and several others, not sure if that includes yourself or not, the crimes are not equally as severe.

From where I’m sitting the question then becomes what do you do with cases like this, do we completely ignore it as I’m guessing the ACLU is arguing, or is there some middle ground where we could still protect the community without eroding civil liberties which is what I was trying to figure out? I do think it’s an interesting question, as do several other people here.

sndfreQ's avatar

Well, after thoroughly reading and re-reading the question on my Macintosh, I came up with the following information, that I hope everyone will find helpful:

According to local sources Florida Today (link from C.O.‘s post above), and baynews9 :

”...[38 y/o Danny] Parker has been booked into the Polk County Jail on 90 counts of sexual performance by a child and one count of possession of images of child pornography.”

And according to the Polk County Sheriff’s Office charge report the 90 counts refer to: Statute: 827.071(2) CRUELTY TOWARD CHILD-USE OR ALLOW CHILD TO ENGAGE IN SEX, which in the letter of the law states the following:

“827.071  Sexual performance by a child; penalties.—
(2)  A person is guilty of the use of a child in a sexual performance if, knowing the character and content thereof, he or she employs, authorizes, or induces a child less than 18 years of age to engage in a sexual performance or, being a parent, legal guardian, or custodian of such child, consents to the participation by such child in a sexual performance. Whoever violates this subsection is guilty of a felony of the second degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082, s. 775.083, or s. 775.084.”

and 1 count (Charge Number 91) of possession as defined by statute 827.071(5) OBSCENE MATERIAL-POSSESS-POSS PHOTOGRAPH OF SEXUAL PERFORMA[NCE]; Charge on arrest docket: POSS CERTAIN IMAGES CHILD PORN (RECLASS)

As defined by statute:

(5)  It is unlawful for any person to knowingly possess a photograph, motion picture, exhibition, show, representation, or other presentation which, in whole or in part, he or she knows to include any sexual conduct by a child. The possession of each such photograph, motion picture, exhibition, show, representation, or presentation is a separate offense. Whoever violates this subsection is guilty of a felony of the third degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082, s. 775.083, or s. 775.084.

The key words in the statute above are ”...knowingly possess a photograph, motion picture, exhibition, show, representation, or other presentation which, in whole or in part, he or she knows to include any sexual conduct by a child.”

It may be useful to note that, in the opening paragraph of 827.071(1), there are several definitions that are used to describe the various terminologies, and the relevant one here seems to be:

(1)(b) “Performance” means any play, motion picture, photograph, or dance or any other visual representation exhibited before an audience.

(1)(g)  “Sexual conduct” means actual or simulated sexual intercourse, deviate sexual intercourse, sexual bestiality, masturbation, or sadomasochistic abuse; actual lewd exhibition of the genitals; actual physical contact with a person’s clothed or unclothed genitals, pubic area, buttocks, or, if such person is a female, breast, with the intent to arouse or gratify the sexual desire of either party; or any act or conduct which constitutes sexual battery or simulates that sexual battery is being or will be committed. [Emph.] A mother’s breastfeeding of her baby does not under any circumstance constitute “sexual conduct.”

Notice the last sentence indicates ”...or any act or conduct which constitutes sexual battery or simulates that sexual battery is being or will be committed.”

IMHO, these are the issues that will likely be argued in this case:
1. Whether the 90 counts of performance are actually performance if the actual person (child) has to be a physical participant in an act;
2. what in the eyes of the court (and jury) consitutes sexual conduct in this case; and
3. whether or not the evidence in hand is sufficient to prove that “sexual battery is being or will be committed.”

As stated in my posts above, since I’m not a lawyer, and I don’t have a background in interpreting or understanding law, at best, I can only speculate that the accused will likely be convicted if the evidence is irrefutable and the circumstantial evidence is corroborated.

Now, because my Macintosh did display the header of the question (imagine that), my interpretation was that GP was asking was if anyone here thought that the simulation of child pornography was as equally punishable as the actual act or “performance”, and my answer to that is, what I think about the concept is irrelevant, since there is already a set of laws that take this into account.

As for free speech/thinking, I think you already know my opinion.

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