Tuesday, September 9, 2014
Lets charge McKayla Maroney with Child Pornography!
I want to see Olympic Gymnast McKayla Maroney charged with production of child pornography.
I know, it is a ludicrous proposal on its face. Maroney didn't mean for these pictures to go out; her personal pictures were part of the celebrity leaked photo fiasco from Labor Day weekend. At first, Maroney denied the photos, buy later claimed they were taken of her at age 17. In turn, someone started a petition on the White House "We the People" petition site to charge Maroney with producing CP. As of my writing, 561 have signed the petition.
This is the kind of case most people would say should not be tried. I agree. There have been a number of cases that should not have been tried, but a number of people have faced CP charges and have even landed on the registry. America is not alone in the insanity; Australia reportedly has charged hundreds of teens and placed some of them on their registries for "sexting."
On the other hand, celebrities have a unique privilege in our culture that cannot be denied. Am I the only one who noticed how quickly the FBI sprung into action and how the celebrity photos were taken down from the internet? Yet, the FBI can't seem to make a dent in deleting all that alleged child porn on the internet or the myriad of internet scams, even the scams pretending to be from the FBI itself. Yet, the FBI jumped into action like a Nazi Blitzkrieg once celebrities were involved.
My proposal to charge McKayla Maroney is not because I feel threatened by her in any way nor do I think she's a danger to society. What I do think is it would be yet another example of the craziness of our registry. If this push to prosecute Maroney is somehow actually successful, she could be on the registry next to someone who committed rape. Or, she could be next to the Oregon men who had relations with their wives in a Salem, Oregon park or the man who grabbed a teen's arm to chastise her for running in front of his car. We can find a place for her between the 10 year old kids on the list and the other sexters. She can sit in the celeb wing of the registry between Paul "Pee Wee Herman" Reubens and Mike Tyson. She can walk into the registry office and give her famous "not impressed" face while getting her mugshot.
Prosecuting McKayla Maroney would raise awareness to the dangers of taking nude pictures with devices that connect to the internet. It would raise awareness that sex offender laws have been expanded far beyond their original intentions, so much so that even some of those most responsible for the creation of these laws have spoken out against them. Star power alone would raise the level of debate.
Slowly, some states have made strides to prevent teens from landing on the registry for nude "selfies." It does not appear California is one of those states, and California has prosecuted teens for sexting in the past. So there is nothing to stop the state from going ahead and prosecute Maroney. In the interest of fairness, the state has a duty to prosecute Maroney. I say, "Go for it."