Cops and prosecutors in Manassas City, Va. have gone insane trying to prosecute a 17-year-old boy for sexting his 15-year-old girlfriend. According to a report from The Washington Post, they want to force the boy to become erect, take photos of his penis, and compare those photos to his original sexts.
The boy has been charged with manufacturing and distributing child pornography. According to the boy's lawyer, Jessica Foster, the assistant Commonwealth attorney told her prosecutors would get the photos this way: "We just take him down to the hospital, give him a shot [to make him erect], and then take the pictures that we need." Sure, sounds reasonable. Foster asked the detective on the case what they would do with the photos, and he said they would "use special software to compare pictures of this penis to this penis." Foster told the Post, "Who does this? It's just crazy."
This isn't even the first time cops have tried this tack. According to NBC Washington, the case began in January when the boy was first arrested. His aunt said that when he was taken into custody:
They took him to a room and took pictures of his genitalia. I asked if they're allowed to do that, and [the boy] said, "I tried to refuse," which he did, he didn't want to do it. They told him if he did not they would do it by force.
The cops were first tipped off to the case by the girlfriend's mother. Allegedly the girl, who has not been charged, sent the boy explicit photos. He then sent her an explicit video.
Now, Foster says her goal is to stop a search warrant to obtain more photos of the boy. "I don't want him to go through that. Taking him down to the hospital so he can get an erection in front of all those cops, that's traumatizing," she told the Post. If the boy is found guilty, he could be forced to register as a sex offender and serve jail time until he's 21.
The boy's guardian at litem in the case, Carlos Flores Laboy, thinks taking the photos is illegal. "They're using a statute that was designed to protect children from being exploited in a sexual manner to take a picture of this young man in a sexually explicit manner. The irony is incredible."