Semi-nude photos of three teenage girls is not child pornography or “Sexting” – ACLU

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semi-naked photos

The district attorney of Wyoming County, Pennsylvania, George Skumanick, Jr., was sued by the American Civil Liberties Union on Wednesday, for threatening to charge three teenage girls with child pornography, under "sexting," for allowing their semi-nude photographs on cell phone. On Thursday, the mothers of the three teenage girls filed a lawsuit against the Pennsylvania prosecutor for threatening their daughters with child-pornography charges.

In its lawsuit, the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) called a federal judge to stop the Wyoming County District Attorney George Skumanick from filing charges against the three teenage girls. The ACLU reasoned that the semi-naked photos of the three girls are not act of child pornography or "sexting".

According to ACLU, George Skumanick is unfairly charging the three high-school girls - Marissa Miller, Grace Kelly, and Nancy Doe - with child pornography or sexting for allowing themselves to be photographed, wearing skivvies and bras, and the District Attorney's child-pornography or sexting charges against the three girls are utterly unfair.

The ACLU admitted the fact that the school officials found the photos of two girls - Marissa Miller and Grace Kelly - wearing white bras and Nancy Doe, standing topless with a towel around her waist, in October 2008, but the ACLU advocated that the photos do not show any sexual activity. According to ACLU, it happened in one summer night in 2007, when three girls strip down to their skivvies to beat the heat. Marissa Miller and Grace Kelly were wearing white bras when their third friend photographed them on her cellphone. However, the photo showing the 17-year-old Tunkhannock girl, Nancy Doe topless, with towel wrapped around her waist, was photographed in a separate setting. It was innocent and harmless fun, but the girls didn't know the serious consequences. The photos somehow got transferred on classmates' cellphones that were found by the school officials.

The ACLU stated that "Skumanick should not have threatened the girls with felony charges unless they agreed to be placed on probation and participate in a counseling program". Witold Walczak, ACLU Pennsylvania legal director, said, "Kids should be taught that sharing digitized images of themselves in embarrassing or compromised positions can have bad consequences, but prosecutors should not be using heavy artillery ... to teach them that lesson."

MaryJo Miller, the 44-year-old mother of Marissa from Tunkhannock, said, "There was absolutely nothing wrong with that photograph. I certainly don't want pedophiles looking at my daughter in her bra, but I don't think that was the intention to begin with. This is absolutely wrong on his (George Skumanick's) part. It's abuse of his authority." Marissa Miller, Kelly, Nancy Doem, and their parents joined in the lawsuit against the district attorney of Wyoming County, Pennsylvania, George Skumanick, Jr. The three girls are facing felony charges unless they take the class.

On the other hand, Skumanick stated he will fight the lawsuit. He said, "Frankly, we just wanted to protect these kids, and say, 'Doing this is not right.' We wanted to offer this course to educate them, and make them understand the long-term ramifications of having photos like this out there."


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