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Teen charged with sexually exploiting herself

By Dave Menendez
Monday, April 5, 2004, at 3:39 PM

Summary: A 15-year-old girl in Pittsburgh has been arrested for posting nude photographs of herself on the internet.

Via a comment to this post exploring what constitutes child pornography, we learn of a 15-year old arrested for taking nude photos of herself and posting them on the internet. A response to that comment notes:

What I find most twisted (although it is hard to settle on which part is the worst) is that a minor is being charged as an adult for sexually exploiting a child, who happens to be her.

Many may disagree with the laws as they stand (I, for one, do), but even if one agrees with them, one should attempt to apply them in an internally consistent manner.

I don’t know the full facts of the matter, so there may be an angle here that I can’t glean from the AP article. It almost seems too bizarre to be true, but the emotions associated with child pornography are strong enough to trigger seemingly-irrational responses. (Consider the couple arrested for photographing their child breast-feeding.)

The unfortunate fact is that there are people on the internet who will pay money for pictures of underage girls (and boys, presumably). It’s possible that the girl posted these images to make money, so you could argue that she comitted a crime analogous to prostitution. A decision to charge her as an adult is harder to rationalize.

(The whole concept of charging minors as adults bothers me on another level, but that’s another post.)