Twenty-year-old Matthew Riskin Bean was sentenced to 45 days in prison after pleading guilty to a single count of stalking. Bean, a 4chan user, had posed as a "concerned mother" and emailed a Philadelphia school pictures of a student's penis.
There are so many reasons not to take pictures of your own erect penis. And even more reasons not to post those pictures to the "dubious website" 4chan! Especially not /b/, the scariest and meanest of all its forums. Here's at least one of those reasons:
Bean, 20, of Bergenfield, N.J., claimed in the e-mail that he was the "concerned mother" of another boy at the school and that "this sort of behavior [should not be] allowed to run rampant," court papers said....
In 2003 or 2004, a now-18-year-old college student from the Philadelphia region, identified in court papers only as "Person No. 1," spent time in an online chat room and uploaded the graphic photos to trade with others....
Court papers said Bean told FBI agents during an interview in his home on Sept. 24, 2009, that he had participated in an online discussion regarding the boy, in which he and others attempted to identify him. Other participants—though not Bean himself—expressed the hope that if the pictures got to the boy's school, he would commit suicide.
The internet can be such a life-affirming place sometimes, can't it? Bean, who was arrested by the FBI after the school passed along his email, was originally charged with possession and distribution of child porn (you can read his indictment here), but he was able to plead down to the less serious charge of stalking.
Bean, the adopted son of a Philadelphia real estate family, was remorseful in his sentencing statement: "I know that my embarrassment, the embarrassment I brought my family, is nothing compared to the pain I caused him." He's apparently small—5'4", 110 pounds; the judge says she thought he was 12 or 13—and his lawyer is hoping he can avoid incarceration. 4chan, meanwhile, is still chugging along fine.